Friday, August 26, 2016

Persistence Makes Progress

My Marilyn Monroe 24x36 Acrylic on Canvas

  The first serious try with painting a black and white portrait of Marilyn Monroe took place in 2011 . I had very little experience with shading on canvas but I was motivated enough to put forth the effort. Painting I can assure you was not at all like any other medium that I had used and depending on if it was oils or acrylics the process required experience in shading and adding layers . I had been painting all of my life but this time I was expecting something different since I was working on canvas.        
  During the painting process I had not planned on adding layers to anything like in the past. I was just expecting everything to just come together  and have a finished painting in a few hours but I was in for a huge surprise. I can tell you that from my personal experience when working with paint on canvas , the drying and blending time with water is much more complicated and if you plan to shade, it will takes some practice. I was not at all satisfied with the results and therefore lacked some confidence in finishing the portrait . After awhile I just left the painting alone altogether and started on something totally different. This experience was the beginning of major changes in the way I did things . The Portrait shown is the very first try at Marilyn Monroe with blending and shading.

  Today I have grown from that experience and many paintings later . I realized that I needed to practice more and I now expect to make mistakes that I have learned how to fix during this painting journey. Some paintings especially the type of portraits that I enjoy painting will take time.

   Take a look at the process of this black and white Marilyn Monroe portrait. The canvas was sketched with a pencil before adding paint with just enough details to lay a foundation. I liked the results.

    I will have to add several layers and I was prepared to spend some real time painting . No rushing or time limits . I finally understood the importance of this in order to produce good work. These next layers took hours to complete , especially after factoring in drying times. I didn't want to lose my subject so I stepped away from my painting several times to have a fresh look.

The next few pictures will take you through the process.

Darker paints were added first . Its always important to line everything up during this time.

I then started with the next section of layers as you can see Miss Monroe is coming to life.

          I worked on each layer until I was satisfied and the progress was amazing . I added darker
                                                 and lighter colors to bring out the details.

    As an artist we work hard sometimes but we may miss focusing on some of the things that we are weak in. If you need to practice hair, practice hair or look at a video tutorial on painting hair. Some paintings may not seem like your best work but never stop producing new work. Even if you get tired or discouraged about working on one thing , stop and come back to it latter . I still to this day have to step away from a piece that I am working on sometimes and come back to it at another time when I can view it with fresh new eyes but I will not step away altogether .... no definitely not at this point in time. I have learned that .

                      Pictured is my Marilyn Monroe today. The difference is amazing.

here is a link to the progression video :