LUCY COOKSON PAINTS A PORTRAIT
Lucy is an artist with 20 years experience including working in
She works in various media and for us painted a Rembrant style portrait in oils.
Normally this would take her several months but Lucy showed us as much of her approach and technique as is possible in one evening.
She uses Jacksons 30 x 40 canvases and Michael Harding oil paints which she dilutes with walnut oil (again from Jacksons) to speed up drying.
A basic ground was applied of Burnt Umber and Ivory Black put on with a rag and then the excess wiped off. The brushes she uses are hog which she wraps in a damp tissue before leaving to dry to retain the shape.
To start the portrait Lucy first draws a rough outline of the portrait using a No 4 brush and a mix of Raw Umber and Ivory Black with a speck of Alizarin Crimson blended together using a palette knife (this stops paint getting embedded in the base of the brush). Lucy holds the brush at the far end of the handle and stands away from the canvas. Then she puts in the main features and main shadow areas in the background.
Flesh tones are mixed from Ivory Black, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red and Yellow Ochre. Shadow colours are the same but no Yellow Ochre. Other colours used in mixes are Ultramarine ,Titanium White, Naples Yellow and Lemon Yellow.
Tones are judged against each other and Lucy uses two brushes one for the light tones and one for dark. Highlights are placed on the nose, lips, forehead and chin. Blue is added to the darkest colour to paint in the eyes. The pupil is placed as a dot and then expanded and the white of the eye painted in flesh tones which are lighter near the centre of the eye. The point of the curve of the eyelid is above the iris.
Cast shadow is used under the nose to bring it out but not over emphasise it.
The top lip is darker than the bottom and the edge forms a triangle with the nose lines.
The tones for the background are chosen from the tones in the face. The paint is mixed and then checked using paint on the palette knife and holding it against the model. The background is not painted down to the bottom - the darkest part is reserved for the shoulder area.
Although not finished this was a beautiful portrait and Lucy had explained her technique in detail with plenty of hints and tips.
|Lucy and Portrait|
|Half time image|