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Thursday, March 22, 2012


18x11" Oil on Linen
© Vicki Ross

When I saw the creased black and white photo from the 1950's, I immediately got an enlarged xerox copy of it to paint 'later' when I felt my skills would do it justice.

FIVE years ago, a move later, and I was actually able to put my hands on the photocopy. Took a digital photo of the copy so I could design compositions and values. Here is the response from Shorty's daughter, Pam:

"How you could take an old, worn out, black and white photo and create such a wonderful color portrait that perfectly captures the look and spirit of Daddy, is a real tribute to your talent. I have been fortunate to have been able to watch your progress through the past few years. Your work has always been better than good. You are now reaching perfection! I am transported back in time, to the wonderful memories of so long ago when I was a little girl." PB (commission info below)

I'm in my 'grisaille' phase, and enjoying every minute of it. One of my late mentors, Ann Templeton, whispered to another classmate 'if I could just get her to slow down'. Well, Ann, I have slowed down. Practicing tonal values, getting them right without having to worry about color. Making sure I 'stay in drawing', and taking my time.

Will I stay with this method? Probably not. I'm just going through all the excellent tutoring I've had and practicing those techniques that I wanted to revisit later.

Enjoy the process of "Shorty". (A compulsory painting)

freestyle: loose shape drawing with brush, refine drawing all the way to the end. Measuring with end of paint brush for accuracy. Requires skill

freestyle with training wheels: combination of the two extremes, mostly starting with color after first underpainting tonal sketch. Still using grid drawing, same size source material, acetate tracing for double checking

compulsory: using all tools at hand, same size source, grid lines, drawing, careful underpainting as many sessions as it takes, glazing with color, then 'decorating' with loose strokes. Using an acetate tracing to check drawing at each session. Requires patience (and more than a bit of OCD)

 Commission info:
You've been invited to view "Portraits V.Ross".
View "Portraits V.Ross"
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Art By Erika said...

Well done Red! Stick with the technique a while longer you seem to do well with it. Shorty was a looker! CDCDCDCDC

VickiRossArt said...

Urania said the same thing about Shorty! Wait til you see the other paintings I have in progress...this technique 'gives' permission to have several going in different phases :)

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Beautiful portrait, Vicki! I love every stage of your process and especially like that first shot of the drawing.

VickiRossArt said...

Pam, Shorty's daughter, is looking to see if she can locate the worn-out snapshot. Now that would make a good comparison! Thanks, Diana...

paulthea said...

You are remarkable!!

VickiRossArt said...

thanks, Thea...your enthusiasm is muchly enjoyed around me!