Paul and Mandie – in progress

This is a dual-portrait I’ve been working on. I was hoping that the background would be dry enough to work on this past weekend but it’s still wet to the touch. Hopefully it’ll be dry enough to work on this week or by the weekend at the very latest.

Paul and Mandie (in progress)
Paul and Mandie (in progress)

The background is interesting, well interesting to me as an artist – I started off with a really nice Prussian Blue background that was only lightened slightly with a white. It was a beautiful deep blue but way too dark in value for the subject. I deliberated for a while about lightening it, but finally I just realized I was trying to rationalize keeping the dark background, simply because it was such a pretty hue (you can still see bits of it creeping through the orange).

I decided to bite the bullet and get it right, even if the intermediate stage was somewhat less beautiful. That’s what you’re seeing here. I’m going to be glazing a transparent blue back over the orange. The inverted complimentary colors should give a nice effect once the blue is back over the orange.

Technically I also decided to try my hand at using a painting knife to apply the background. The Prussian Blue was so pretty I didn’t want to lose it completely so I thought I really very rough scumble over the top might give a nice effect… which is the resulting image. It’s a really neat effect and half the reason I’m posting this here now is to document that technique. I’m sure I’ll be using it again soon.

2 thoughts on “Paul and Mandie – in progress

  1. Hi Jeremy – Paul sent me a link to your site. I just wanted to say how touched I am that you are painting this portrait for us. It is already really beautiful. Thank you for sharing your talent! With love – Mandie

  2. Really glad to hear you say that Mandie. Still a long way to go, but hopefully you like the composition. Hopefully the background will be dry enough to work on it again this weekend.

    I’ve wanted to paint you two for a while now, so thank you for giving me the opportunity and occasion to do so.

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