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Portrait of 3 Daughters

Early February, 2002, we discuss doing a portrait of three young women. The mother has provided me with resource photos. The primary photo, which I will use, is vertical, but we want the final portrait to be horizontal.

I scan the photo into my PC and proceed to manipulate the figures to make it horizontal. We have decided on a 24" by 36" canvas.

This will be the basic composition.

I have discovered that I can open the TIF file in Adobe Streamline and convert to Vector (line) art, and then import into Adobe Illustrator as an illustrator format file. I format and create a limited color poster image from which, in Illustrator, I can create a sort of line drawing. This simplifies the process of transferring to the drawing paper.

Here is the draughtsman table with the drawing in progress.

And a closer view of the drawing.


2/24/02 - I wasn't pleased with the placement, so I moved the daughters further apart and began redrawing the sketch. This is "double-work" but is good practice for "seeing" the forms.
3/3/02 -Having felt the basic flow and dimension of the piece by doing the drawing, I now lightly transfer the grid to the canvas, drawing the basic outlines with pencil and then paint as a wash.
3/3/02 - This re-drawing is done with a mix of burnt umber and ultramarine blue, in a monochrome wash (lots of turpentine, no medium.)
4/30/02 - Sidetracked by taxes and bills and am just now getting the next stage posted, although I've worked on it slowly. It's in a "cartoon" stage, the point when I wonder whether I really have the right to consider myself an artist.
5/19/02 - This is the next stage of the painting. Still in the "cartoon" stage. I am moving left to right across the painting, trying to keep the girls in about the same stage of development. I like the background in a darker shade (though perhaps less brown) because it sets off the bright skin tones.
5/27/02 - Today I worked mainly brightening the middle girl's face and changing the background.
6/2/02 - This weekend I worked mainly on the left and middle girls and on the background. Making the background dark lets the skin tones glow and become the focus of the painting. At this stage, painting goes slower and changes will not be as obvious. But the sisters begin to look less like a cartoon of themselves.
6/16/02 - I made a lot of headway, working glazes over the face of the right-hand face, working on the texture of the middle girl's dress (which will later be darkened again by glazing) and the bright white folds of the right-hand girl's blouse and the background -- which is developing layers and richness. . .
To be continued . . . . Last updated: April 8, 2010
Last updated: April 8, 2010
Copyright c. 2004 by Pam Coulter Blehert. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.