Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Portrait Marathon update: Hamilton progress 1

Christine's Hamilton is coming along nicely.

The original reference photo had a lot of detail, which is good, but it was taken in low light, with no real shadows.  Maybe a very cloudy wintery day?  Anyway, the light was cold, and it was hard to see his golden fawn patches.  At my request, she sent me another photo of Hammy in a field of lupines, which was wonderful!  The complete opposite.  I hope to get some of the feel of the light and background from that picture into the soulful gaze of the original pose Christine chose.

I started with a Payne's gray underpainting, which I wish now I'd taken a scan of.  It looked like a black and white photo.  Well, you know, as close as I could make it, anyway!  All his distinct markings were there; the dark eyes, nose and lips, the dark areas in his ears, most of the brindling.  Lots going on in those eyes and ears!  Here's a closer look.  
Not done yet, though.

Which brings me to the theme of the week.  I don't have a catchy name for it.  If there is one, and you know it, tell me!  H and I were talking about it in regards to his business (water treatment).  The idea is that  it takes more work to complete the last 10% than the first 90%.  Maybe it's related to "the devil's in the details"?  At any rate, while you can see where everything is going (except the background), there's a LOT of work to do before I call this done.

I think I'm getting the sense of the lighting I want in this, though.  Once the background gets more solid, I may have to adjust the shadows more, pump them up, get more contrast.  We'll see.

It's bedtime now.  Tomorrow, we'll get to that last bit!
Thanks for looking!

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