I painted these cheerful sunflowers recently from a tutorial by Sharon Hofer www.creatingamasterpiece.com after using her video instruction as a basis to teach 4 middle school students the same painting. I think it’s such a lovely painting I decided to have a go too! It was completed in about an hour. My daughter likes it so much she asked to have it hanging in her bedroom, which is where it now lives.
Sharon Hofer teaches good methods in a clear style, and I feel could help anyone develop their art. I was lent the hard copy video by a friend, although Sharon has now changed to a subscription system, which means a bit more capital outlay to access the information.
This young lady is the daughter of friends we knew a long time ago. She was born on Christmas Eve and we visited her and her parents in the hospital on Christmas Day. I had seen her very little since that visit at one day old.
Last summer, we were able to visit her family on our travels to the east coast. As we were there visiting, she arrived home from Israel, having also recently been a missionary/aid nurse in the temporary trauma hospitals in Syria. She sat in the beautiful summer light and told me about her experiences. I loved the peace and calm she exuded and the hope she was offering to hurting people, all of which seemed symbolized to me by the yellow shawl she was wearing. I’d wanted to paint her ever since then!
I painted this with an acrylic under-painting (full color) and then painted oils over that.
I painted this one with an acrylic underpainting (full color) and then oils on top. I used a color isolator to see each color accurately. I like the result and am happy with her expression and the overall result!
In November I enlisted the help of this very gracious family member to help me follow the instructions of Brian Neher on the Craftsy video course ‘Painting Realistic Skin Tones in oil’.
We set her up near a North facing window, with a suitable background, and I took about 60 photos of her. Together we chose a few that we both liked and I settled on this pose.
The photo shows the colors a little incorrectly-the shadows are not quite that brown. However, I’m not satisfied with the shadow colors. I mixed cadmium red medium, yellow ochre, titanium white and a touch of viridian, aiming for grey, but the mix went more easily to a brown hue than a grey one. I need more practice and experimentation with this-does anyone have any tips?
I used my daughter, Elizabeth as a model for this picture, taking about 30 pictures in various poses and lightings. When I decided which pose I liked I drew several on 6 x 8 inch pieces of 300 lb Arches paper and tried out a few different paint triads. It was fun! They all behaved differently, and there were quite a few surprise features. This image was my favorite, especially the blends and ‘holes’ in the background. The hair was added with burnt umber.
I printed the words on my computer, cut out the strips and attached them to the edge of the painting. I had copies made at Staples, where I always enjoy attentive and caring service. The staff there always seem willing to try several iterations until I’m satisfied with the product.
This week I found out that this painting won second place in a local juried show! The entries for this show had to be on a ‘serene, inspirational or uplifting theme’. I was away in England for the whole show and so did not find out the result until my husband went to collect the paintings. What a lovely surprise!
These are some of the last paintings from 50 Small Paintings in Acrylics, by Mark Nelson. It was a very good way of becoming familiar with acrylics. I discovered that I like Golden Open acrylics the best. Now I am using the book to teach a group of children. They love the projects!