Welcome to my blog for McCartneyFineArt.com and MauiVision.com.
I share my personal stories and insights about Maui and Hawaii living. Here you will find articles and interviews about local artists,
entertainers and the interesting people who make Maui their home. There is a gentle spirit and beauty here that attracts eclectic souls that together add to the Maui magic.
Kathy McCartney - Author "The Maui Magical Mystical Tour" - Owner of Maui Vision Rentals and McCartney Fine Art
This is where I ended up today. See more images below to see how I got this far.
Aloha everyone and thank you for visiting my blog!
I am working on several new paintings currently, but I have chosen this one to blog about. It has nothing to do with the South Pacific or Hawaii. It is not a place, but it is a special person in my life. It is a portrait of my son Ryan who is now 17 years old, however, I took this picture of him when he was about 3 years old. I love this picture of him.
I am currently teaching people portraits in one of my art classes and I thought I really need to do this painting of my son. This image has been pulling me for awhile.
I also miss my son who is away living at a US military camp attending a 5 month long high school program. What a great experience for him. I am proud of how focused he is and his great attitude. He is motivated to do something good with his life. As a mother we all wish for our children to grow up and contribute to society in a positive way. He does make me proud. He is a wonderful young man. Okay enough personal stories, but this is another reason I felt it is time to paint him, plus I am sharing the progress of this painting with him via snail mail. I like to kill 2 birds with one stone whenever possible.
I started with a white canvas measuring 11”x14.” It is gallery wrap canvas so I will paint the edges. With a gallery wrap canvas there is no need to purchase a frame, it is optional. By the way, I try and use canvases that are the same size as standard frames. Meaning you can buy frames already made to fit your canvas. It cost a lot less money versus having a custom frame made. I also paint a lot so it is good to be able to switch my same size paintings in and out of frames that I already own.
(You can click on the images to see the image enlarged)
Step one; I paint the canvas with grey gesso. This dries quickly. I then scan in the image of my original photograph. I do not want to mark up my original photo. Plus it makes my life easier to do grid method if I crop and size a new version of this photo to better fit the 11”x14” canvas. If you divide 11” by 2 you get 5.5” and if you divide 14” by 2 you get 7”. I crop and size my scanned image to fit this dimension exactly. So the printed picture measures 5.5”x7.” I draw lines using my T-square on the canvas and make 2” squares horizontal and vertical. On my photocopy I make similar lines or squares in 1” marks. This is half the size of the canvas. The canvas and photocopy now have the same number of boxes. I number the boxes on the canvas and on the photo. I then draw my image with a number 2 pencil (lightly) to match what I see on my photocopy (do not use charcoal pencil it smears in your paint). I find this to be a very quick and accurate way to get my image on the canvas. It also helps improves ones drawing skill.
I have done portraits with straight color but I do prefer starting in gray tones. I find it easier to correct my drawing as I go along and it helps me see the values of light, medium and dark. This is a good exercise to strengthen ones artistic eye to see values. I also think it is cool to see your painting come alive like a black and white photograph. Flesh tones are a little more challenging so starting in black and white lays down a foundation to place the color on top of later.
I see some errors in my initial drawing and my gray scale painting. I fix the angle of his ear and the front of his face needs adjusting. I shrink the chin and lips. I do this with more gray/white paint but I also shrink the features of the face with yellow paint that I am thinking will be my sky color, however, I will probably tone it down or make it another color entirely.
I often times use my paint brush or ruler as a sighting tool to compare angles from my photograph to the painting itself. You can catch mistakes this way.
In all I took about 2.5 hours.
I will blog once a week until this painting is complete.