Reino in Focus

Not for sale

Just located my work-in-progress pics for this painting! Here’s a little painting inception here with my grandfather looking at the finished piece.

This is the second painting I made in Wayne’s class – the first being this tomato. While I was working on the tomato, my husband Alan went to help my grandparents with their computer. My grandparents ran their own tool & die shop for many years. So, rather than using reading glasses or a magnifier, my grandfather uses these shop goggles out of habit. This was novel to Alan so he took a photo and sent it to me, jokingly? suggesting I paint it for the class. I thought “why not?”

This uses the same techniques as the tomato pic, though I have a few more photos of the process before the painting started.

First: print out the color and black and white photos of the image, and analyze what’s going on. Where’s the light source? Are there secondary reflections? Are there adjustments to make to the color scheme? For major color and layout changes I would have tinkered with it in Photoshop more before printing it.

Second: make a good sketch. The painting will be layers upon layers of progressive refinement, so getting the shapes and layout right up front is critical. I do the old “grid” technique of sketching a small grid, usually 4×4, over the image to help with scaling it up to canvas size. It’s so easy to mess up shapes and angles otherwise.

The rest is a similar process. I ended up making the goggles edges red instead of blue with the original intent of making a red/white/blue set of colors since politics are one of his primary hobbies. As I got further into this, I decided to leave the robe more of a brownish color so it wouldn’t stand out as much. Burnt Umber + Ultramarine Blue made a nice, rich dark color that I wanted to keep as is.

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  1. Hi Julie,

    I do portraits too. Instead of the grid system I use a very clear plastic to trace the photo which I made to the size I will paint the piece. Then use carbon paper to put the tracing on the canvas and go over the lines on the canvas with fine point indelible marker. Also you have to watch out for foreshortening which happens with photos.

    Great work. If you want to see my web page it is

    Best of luck,

  2. Thanks Joann! Yes, the foreshortening was a challenge here. I’ll have to keep an eye on that in the future, especially since I’m usually working from a single reference photo.

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