I have learned that many of my patrons, students and friends enjoy visiting the studio to see the works in progress so I have developed the habit of photographing most of my work in the various stages.
The images and story below are an explaination of the process of painting, "Ursula" (Her real name is Heather, but that is a different story.) a nude done from a combination of photos taken of my model and working from life sketches of her.
I seem to have lost the sketches but this first image is of the early stages of the painting. The original canvas was about 30 x 20 inches as seen in the image to the left. The image to the right was after I realized I had too much blank area and restretched it to 22 x 18 inches.
I don't have images of the very beginning stages of this painting but if you have seen some of my other posts you know how I start and proceed to get to this point. I usually paint the figure in very pale grays and whites just to establish the basic shadow pattern and facial expression. The background is brough up beyond the figure and in this case the jug, (the ceramic one) is also kept as a pale underpainting.
I like the detail in the orienta rug and in the vase in contrast to the simplicity, softness and smooth flow of the woman's skin. Warm soft rug, hard cold vase and soft cream like skin of a woman.
In the next phase (image to the left) you can see I decided to change the hair and make it longer and flow over her shouders. At this point I also brought the skin up some and worked the background into deeper colors and more details. This is true of the vase to some small extent.
With the image on the right above you will see the skin is again much more defined but still cool colors of blue and green grays. The expression on the face is more complete as is the hair and the background is almost as dark as it ever needs to be. From here on it is painted almost exclusively with glazes. (thin layers of transparent oil paint) This gives it a deeper and richer look in the shadows and allows me to create colors by overlaying one transparent layer over another to give a final effect that can not be achieved with opaque paint.
The final painting below is 22 x 18 inches. Not much more to say. I hope the final painting will speak for itself. Purchase information about this painting can be seen at: "Ursula"