Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dorothy and Marion

I've been working this winter on a series of 8x8 inch paintings adapted from either vintage family photos from some I purchased from a local consignment shop.  This one, Dorothy and Marion, comes from a photo at the shop, from an estate.  There were lots of pictures, all carefully labeled.  I bought a couple because I liked the poses and the fact the people were local, but I was saddened that these pictures were orphans.

In the original the two young women are standing in front of some trees on a farm.  I took them out of context, and focused on their expressions and posture. This is the first painting layer, after I prepared the canvas board and drew out the figures.

I've done several of these paintings, and each time I like the individual steps along the way, and am almost sad to see each version be lost with the addition of the next layer of paint.  The burnt sienna makes the figures pop, and made it easier to fine tune some of the lights and darks.

The challenge here is the decisions I have to make about skins tones and clothing colors.  The girl on the left was dressed in white, and the details were mostly lost in the over exposed original.  So I simply guessed, and made up what I could not see. I made the shirt o the girl on the right blue, just because it was dark enough to set up a contrast with the lighter clothing, and also it looks good with the reddish orange background.

 And here is the finished painting, with gold leaf applied over the reddish background.  I left the shadow uncovered to anchor the figures and to let that burnt sienna show through as a complement to the blue shirt.  I'm sorry the gold leaf doesn't show particularly well in the photo.  I like the textured reflective effect, which reminds me of religious icons, very much. 

So, all I have left to do is to cover the back side to made it look acceptable on a tabletop easel, and it will be ready to go to the gallery.

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