Since switching over to collage full time eight years ago, it’s like a mini vacation for my brain whenever I get a commission to do an oil painting.
I recently had the pleasure of immortalizing a Canadian stallion (yes, Canadian IS a breed of horse) who belongs to a friend of mine. He is a beauty and a true gentleman, so the job was a pleasure.
First I gridded up a drawing from a photo that my friend and I selected as our best portrait reference option.
To avoid unnecessary labour, the drawing was transferred to the panel via tracing paper and then drawn over with thinned oil paint to preserve the lines.
Then comes the blocking in the major colour and value areas. The finishing of a painting is – for me at least- a process of gradual refinement.
I always marvel at artists who can work on isolated areas of a painting at a time. I need to bring the whole picture along simultaneously so I can see how all the parts relate to each other. I was taught to do this, and as I work, I can still hear one of my old painting instructors shouting to the class, “Start everything at the same time; finish everything at the same time.” I guess that advice stuck!
Here is a detail of the portrait near completion, and the finished product below.
Avery, 14×18 oil on panel