Saturday, October 10, 2015

Painting a Portrait Using Ideas from Chuck Close Paintings--Part 2


The final painting

Week 4.  From this point on, we had the Chuck Close Face Book to consult.  J. W. was inspired and worked an hour and a half.  He accomplished a lot.

I had downloaded another style of Chuck Close painting because J. W. didn't like the way the bits of color on the lips looked.  In this style each square is one color.  He decided he would repaint his lips in a style which was partly this second style but was also a bit like the first style.




I often find it hard to see what I can do to improve my paintings and it helps to have someone else look at my painting.  J. W. found that the same thing was true for his painting.  After Week 3, I noticed that the shape of the right side of his face ( as you are looking at it)  was not quite like the photo he was working from.  We talked about it.

The simplest way to get that angle right seemed to be to cut out the face from the background of the photograph, lay it on top of his painting and then redraw the troublesome right side by tracing around the cut out face.  You can see the original right side edge and the newly painted one.  The result is an interesting highlight between the two edges, a highlight that is often present when we look at faces.

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He used the second Chuck Close painting for ideas for painting the hair, using three browns that he mixed.  He used the lightest of the three browns to define the chin and neck muscles.  He used ideas from both styles of Chuck Close paintings to further define the eyes.

He had fun painting in the background.  All the colors are mixtures.  I suggested that he not make the edges between the colors definite but mingle the two colors so the transition was gradual.

At this point I was mostly just watching him and telling him, "Great idea."  He knew where he wanted to go.  He was comfortable combining both Chuck Close styles.

Week 5.  This was the week he refined the nose.  I copied a variety of faces painted by noted painters.  He decided the one he wanted to use for inspiration was Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough.


Before attempting painting the nose, J. W. drew a sketch of the Blue Boy's nose.


He painted in shadows along the nose in a deeper skin tone and added white to the end of the nose.  He also added the deeper skin tone along the sides of the face, especially along the right side as you look at the painting. He used a bit of the Chuck Close technique of painting two colors in a square to paint the edge shadow between the nose and lips on the right side.


Week 6.  He decided to adjust the lines depicting the nostril holes and added more of the darker skin tone along the right side of the nose.  he also added a bit more white to the center of the nose and the center of the forehead.


He had decided a few weeks earlier that he wanted a T shirt neckline, not the jacket that he was wearing in the original photo.  He had fun filling in those final blocks.  He used Turquoise for the entire T shirt, using varying amounts of water to vary the tones of the blocks.

To see how J. W. started this project go to Painting a Portrait Using Ideas from Chuck Close--Part 1.

1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

I am impressed with you both! Good job it is fun to watch the progress:)