Monotone Portrait

14"x 17"
Acrylic on Canvas
This is the latest!..

The Process (if ya interested)

A commissioned piece, my client requested it to be done in black and white. He however gave me full creative flexibility to do as I felt best.

In my mind's eye however I saw the portrait in the dusky tones of an old photograph and used a limited pallet of Burnt Umber, Ultramarine (more in the cooler areas (shadow)), Yellow Ocher (more in the warmer areas) and Titanium White. A drying retarder was used to aid in blending.

With such a minimal palette, taking in to account the temperature of the pigments used, was crucial in helping to breath life and depth in to the painting.

As titanium white tends be somewhat cool (making objects appear to recede) yellow ocher was used to warm the hue and make the highlights (where it was used most) appear to advance. All colours were mixed and used in some small degree throughout the painting, except white.

A very diluted Yellow Ocher wash was painted over the whole painting somewhere at the mid and end points of the painting process (which gave it a reverberating glow), followed by gloss paint (for a slight sheen) to make it pop and give some protection. My client totally loved it to my delight :)... It took about 2 weeks to complete.

I'm currently working on a painting that is being done roughly in the Flemish style which begins with a detailed underpainting very similar to the painting above. This is then followed by a dead layer (an even more detailed layer done in gray tones) and finally the layering of coloured glazes. The result is supposedly a rich luminous painting!...
Hopefully mine will be up to scratch.... :).

p.s. reference photograph provided by client and friend Alvin J. Ebeneizer



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