Lena and Manny After Dinner

The final painting.

Lena and Manny After Dinner • 12″ x 12″

The latest painting in this style & size – these are my husband’s parents Manny and Lena, from (yet another) great photo by Alan. I painted this during a return visit to one of Wayne’s painting classes. This time I was able to pay attention to more detail about color and technique.

I used long strokes on the table and the bowls, with a bit of perspective on the paint strokes for the table: larger strokes in the foreground, shorter further away.

While smoothing the transition on the hard edge of the dish in the foreground, I ended up with a stippled look that I really liked. It has a kind of atmospheric diffusion that I find really appealing. I like stippling anyway but this is the first time I used it to solve a problem in a painting. I’ll be doing more of this.

I must remember to use greens in shadows. It’s counterintuitive to me because I keep thinking back to the watercolor instruction I had in college that emphasized purple. That may be to give it more of a luminescent look, perhaps? (a yellow sun, a purple shadow) With acrylic, and this approach I’ve been using, it’s making more sense to pick direct complementary colors to the object. Then: the yellows and reds of skin tones are counterbalanced with purples and greens…and the bright yellow-orange of the the tabletop has a cool blue shadow.

Of the many good pointers from Wayne, the ones that stuck out most this time were about artistic focus. First, if you’re having trouble in an area limit your time on it…and consider sanding it down and starting from scratch if it’s not going where you want it to go. Second: at some point, let go of what you see in the reference and choose the logic that makes sense for this painting instead. That led to the addition/removal of some details, and a lot of the color/style counterbalancing. Good stuff.

Initial sketch

Initial sketch

Yellow ochre layer

Yellow ochre layer

Burnt Sienna layer

Burnt Sienna layer

Burnt Umber layer

Burnt Umber layer

Wayne's suggestions for colors

Wayne’s color suggestions

Ultramarine layer

Ultramarine layer

Table and Window detail

Table and Window detail

Skin tones

Skin tones

Bringing in texture

Bringing in texture

Filling in shadows

Filling in shadows

Greens!

Greens!

Notes about final fixes

Notes about final fixes

Final details fixed

Final details fixed

Checking it out

Checking it out

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