Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Jane" my portrait painting and it's progression

I am not highly skilled at portraits, quite the opposite.  But the only way to get better is to practice, so I decided to take an online class from one of my favorite artists "Gritty Jane" or Jane DesRosier.  Here is her link if you are interested...
She does amazing work, and I would love to be able to emulate her style.  So part of the class is of course making your own portrait.  This was my attempt.  I called her "Jane" in honor of Gritty Jane and her style which is layers and texture mixed with paint.  I am amazed at how much my portrait changed every time I worked on it.  I think it's pretty good for my first attempt at this style, and the fact that I don't typically paint people.  I can say that people are very challenging, there are so many components, mainly proportion.  That is always a challenge for me, and really it comes back to the basics of drawing.  There is no over estimating the importance of this practice.  It is the back bone of all art essentially.  What I tend to do is jump in without first laying down an accurate drawing.  I am so excited to start painting that I jump in too quickly, thereby making more work for myself later on.  But try as I might this is how I am.  I have always done it, and probably always will.  The good news is I choose a "forgiving" medium in acrylic paint.  You can just keep going til you get it right.  Watercolors were never for me due to the fact that you make your mark and it's there, if you need to move it, too bad.  It's stuck and it ain't never going to move again.  Oils and acrylics are so forgiving you can virtually paint an entire new subject over another and never even know it.  That's for me.  I can't stand being rigid when it comes to choices.  I want to loosen up and paint with total abandon, and I feel like this happens after years and years and years of work.  I am not there, not even close.  But at least I am painting, and I am learning and I am trying.  I quit art years ago after being so frustrated with my inner critic yelling at how bad I was.  I challenge that critic now, I stand up to it and I say "go away, you aren't needed right now...." I am allowing myself to learn, to grow, and to try all kinds of ways to create.  My biggest hurdle is ME.  My critic and my expectations, if I can get past that, I am a success...I hope you enjoyed my process and if you can relate please share...


  1. She is beautiful. I loved seeing the progression. That always amazes me. Here is what I think, your pet portrait experience gives you an edge on all of us. We all have a hard time painting hair and OMGoodness, look at her hair! So beautiful.

  2. What a beautiful painting! The progression is did such a great job on the underpainting.