Friday, February 14, 2014

More Katie ...

Katie - work in progress
acrylic on Aquabord panel
© Xan Blackburn

Some good work on this, today.  Building up more layers of color in the background, approaching the values (light/dark) I want around the portrait in general, and pretty close to done in some areas.

I had the idea today to make the shadows warm, and the highlights cool, which is the opposite of my general rule (very general), and I like how it's working.  My idea is to make the shadows, which is where all the detail is in this portrait, reveal the life, the blood under the skin and fur, the translucence of a living being by allowing that warmth to glow through.  The highlighted side of her face is almost featureless, a silhouette in reverse, but making that side glow with an almost blue light will give a sense of reflected sky, and really make the warm shadow areas pop.  In the end, the background will suggest a leafy background on a sun-filled day, and Katie will be emerging from that like the bright spirit she was.  Her lower body will fade gently back, so all our attention will be on her face, her expression, the gesture of her tilted head and half-raised ears.

It's really hard to show you what's going on in some areas.  My scanner can't capture the layers of color bouncing around in the background.  This just mostly looks like green, but there are blues, greens and gold-greens all laying on top of each other like leaves in the sun.  The eyes are too dark to scan well, but there is more subtle color going on there, too.
Katie (detail) - work in progress

This shows a little bit more.  There's a sketchy quality to this that I like right now, but it will get a bit more smoothing out before it's done, with more glazes pulling it all together.

So, that's where we are tonight.

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