Oil Painting of Yvette for FMP
I stretched a large canvas which is 24 Inches across by 36.8 Inches. Once I had primed it and it was dry I penciled in a faint outline of Yvette to help me get the correct proportions when I began painting.
I chose an image of Yvette which I found the most interesting. It wasn’t a pose which particularly showed of her muscular physique but which I found would be more interesting to look at and not a classical looking pose.
I found the oil paints took a while to get used to as you have to use turps with them instead of water for acrylic paints which is what I am more adapted to. Considering the outcome I wanted, which was a more visually realistic look to my painting, oil was the best option as they are extremely good for blending as it takes a long time to dry, whereas acrylic dries very quickly and you can not get the same effect. I had planned to get the flesh painted in first. This was because of the contrast in colors with her body and her clothing and hair. I didn’t want to risk the colors mixing as I was working.
Something which I should have done form the start was to match up the colors I was mixing directly with the photo I was looking at instead a matching it just visually without comparing.
I was really happy with how far I had come considering I had not used oils before. Her face was the part I found the hardest because I wanted it to be accurate and for Yvette to be recognizable in the image. I thought this was very important.
I began putting some colour in the background as I was working.
The background in the photo was more of a grey-white color and I wanted something a bit more livelier. I started off with a light blue colour but thought straight away that it didn’t look roght. So then started putting a more pinky coloured tone into the background.
Yvette’s hair is black and shines when the light hits it. To give the effect that this was so in my painting I added blue tones which I think worked really well and I was happy with this. Towards the end when I was almost complete I also added white in certain areas to give the hair more tone and the idea of slight movement in it too.
I wanted to see wha it looked like without any of the black and white tiles, but I was advised by Richard it would look better if ther floor was in so that it grounded Yvette instead of her looking like a floating image in the middle of the canvas.
I had a talk with Richard about where I was up to and he gave me some useful advice.
He wasn’t too happy with the tones in the painting and I agreed after we had spoke. This is why it would have been important for me to match up the colors correctly as I was working to get a more accurately corresponding tone.
So Richard worked back into my painting to show me how I could improve it.
I was slightly apprehensive at first as I thought my painting would look more like Richard’s work than my own. But Richard reassured me that once I worked back into it would look like my work. I was grateful for his input as it did improve my work and the outcome.
I had a vision in my mind of what it would look like when I had finished. the floor which Yvette was standing on was a black and white tiled floor. Richard suggested putting the floor in completely whereas I had only pictured a small area of floor where Yvette was crouching.
However, I did put all the floor in which I found difficult and messy because the black oil painting kept mixing in with the white.
Because there was quite a large area of background to fill I decided to use acrylic as well as oil. This was both to save time and also to conserve the oil paints. However I am glad I did this because both paints actually worked fine together and gave me the look I wanted.
When I had completed my painting and stepped back to look at how it felt visually, I just wasn’t happy. I knew straight away this was because of the background. It took away from my main focus which was Yvette. I found the colors garish and quite immature really. I didn’t like the final outcome at all.
I spoke to Sally about how I felt and she very confidently advised me to redo the background. I am so glad I did.
I decided to go for a grey background and fade out the black and white tiles.
It improved the painting straight away and made you focus on Yvette and not all the different colors that were going on in the background. Also, thanks to Richard’s help and input, the skin tone is was much more improved. Hone I first started the skin tone was too red and peachy, whereas now it matches more accurately and is more realistic.