Works in Progress

Subject:  Young Boy
Size:  40 X 30
Medium:  Oil on canvas

Well, clearly there should be a photo directly above what I am typing here but I completely forgot to take a photo of the drawing.  Oopsy.  I started with a blank white canvas and sketched with a graphite pencil but you can't see that can you?  And why not?  Because I was neglectful.  Next time.

Stage 1:  I slapped on the basic background colors so I have a reference for the skin tone later.  I put in very basic dark shapes, no details but maybe a hint of the value changes.  With a large brush I threw in chunks of foliage in the background, got the middle tone of the grass down on canvas, and moved on to the middle values/tones of the skin.  Because I do some scumbling and some glazing, I blend the skin tones with a soft fluffy mop brush.  Only simple value changes go in at this point.  Time to let the canvas dry.

Stage 2:  I have to put in the young man's eyes, at least the irises, because the white blank stare is freaking me out a little.  I began to add a little more of the mid to light skin tones as well as some of the shadows...everywhere you can see skin.  I spent quite a bit of time on the face at this stage and added a few lighter strands of hair.  Overall, it doesn't look like I did much but I need to get the face right.  I had a thought of moving on to doing more to the background but I was too tired.  It needed to dry anyway.

Stage 3:  I continued to refine the face by "sculpting" it with some of the lighter values, leaving only the highlights.  I also refined many of the shadow areas.  The same was done for the hands and the legs.   I also began to more clearly place the leaves that would go in the background which is something my client would like to see.  I also began to put in some definition in the tree bark of the large tree.  Just before I decided to quit, I decided I would add the lightest highlights on the shirt and shorts.  I see things I need to fix...after it dried AGAIN.

Stage 4:  It seemed my white areas were a little too wet so I needed to stay away from the shirt.  I began adding more information to the background, following my client's preferences.  The background didn't take a lot of time as the strokes were fairly loosely applied but at this stage it began to look more like a yard.  I added the brick to balance out the warmer skin tones and break up all the green.  Additionally, I made corrections to the face and added details in the eyes, the mouth, and highlights in the hair.  I attempted to define the fingers and toes more and added some additional highlights to the feet and hands.  Finally, I added lighter sections to the tree bark, and blades of grass in the foreground.  I was so exhausted I fell asleep on my palette.  No I didn't.  I just wanted to see if you were still reading.

Stage 5:  My final visit with this painting had me warming up the little tree in the background and adding some barely visible light areas in the foliage of the background.  I also wanted to transition from the grass on the lower left up to the shorts by adding moss that you can't see in the photo for some reason.  It's there, I promise.  I added light blue piping to the shirt.  I need blue somewhere other than on the shorts.  My final adjustment was to add a few more light sections to the dirt in front of the feet.  Finally, I said a little prayer hoping my client is pleased with her fourth portrait and will now have a complete collection!  Four boys!  Can you imagine that? 

Thank you for taking a look at the process!

Below are some shots of another portrait's progress
Subject:  Young Boy
Size:  48 X 30
Medium:  Oil on canvas

I suppose after reading the steps of the first work in progress it is pretty clear how I proceed through each piece so I won't bore you except to say that I finally remembered to photograph the sketch.  This is how I start.  Pencil.  A lot of drawing and erasing so I end up with a fairly clean image so I don't have to do a whole lot of correcting.  I erase my mistakes so the pencil marks don't dirty my colors too much.  In areas that will have a lot of white I am especially simple with the drawing for this reason.  I try to leave as little of the pencil as possible.

Above:  First painting session.  Middle tones and hues.

The second session involved laying more of the basics in but because some of the areas were dry from the previous session I was able to begin finer tuning on the legs, tree and grass.

During the third session I began adding a lot more of the details, corrected for some areas that were problematic, and continued building the painting.

The final session had me scumbling in some darker values in the background and many of the shadow areas...especially on clothing.



dcoblitz said...

Velly intellestink! Thanks for the window into your art. As for Bob, maybe iota means "iota paint more".

Lisa Ober said...

You are kind...and silly! Thank you for peeking, Dave.

Oleksandra Pavlyuk said...

You have a very good eye for details. Perfect realism!

Lisa Ober said...

Thanks so much, Oleksandra! What a beautiful name you have. Thank you for viewing my work.

Terri Hill said...

I am amazed at your incredible gift...just amazed.