Monday, November 15, 2010

Lyrea, then and now.

I had my friend Lyrea come over the other day to sit and pose for me while I practiced some portrait painting. The results this time were a lot more successful than one other previous session from a couple of years ago when I painted her and was rather unsatisfied with the results.

Time serves as the best educator as I compare the two paintings now and see the mistakes I made and note the different techniques I used, then and now.

The one on the top is the one I did recently and the one on the bottom was done a couple of years ago, I might also add, before I received any formal education outside of a couple of night school courses. The one on the top looks more like an actual human with features more accurately placed on a 3/4 pose. By comparison, the one on the bottom has its features laid out almost flatly, giving it a very cartoonish look.

Both were also painted with oil paint which can be a very frustrating medium to work with at times. One notable difference between the two paintings is the application of the paint and colours. On the first one I relied on the oil paint's natural blending ability by laying colours on top of each other which resulted in an uncontrollable muddying of colours. In the second I used a technique I had learned about in school of laying down separate patches of colour as I saw them and then used a dry brush to gradually blend them together. Stay tuned to my youtube channel as I plan to upload an instructional on this technique in the coming weeks.

So that is generally it. I'm happy to witness the personal progress I appear to be making with the helpful tips I've been picking up in school and if I can help anyone else along their own practises it makes it even more worth the while for me. If anyone has any questions of my methods please do email me at


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