Saturday, 10 January 2009

Weathered, Oil on Raw Linen Canvas Board, 8" x 8", 2009

I sketched this very interesting looking man in December 2006. I can't remember much about him, but while looking through some of my archived sketchbooks, he seemed to look weathered by the storms of life!

I have painted this in a technique very commonly known as "Alla Prima"- this is when you start with oil and finish it in one sitting without going back to it. So it has a certain freshness and spontaneous look in the end. Its quite a while I used oil so I struggled a bit.

This was my process

1. I decide to start this without any drawing.

2. I decide to use only 3 colours and white (YELLOW- Yellow Ocher, RED-Terra Rosa, BLUE- Ultramarine Blue.

3. I attack the canvas by just thinking his head was a lump of clay, so, no details just painting shapes in three mass tones.

4. I soften all passages where the three basic tones meet.

5. Then I start sketching into the painting, some of the basic details like eyes, nose and mouth.

6.I make sure I don't over work the details, but add a few smaller strokes where needed to bring out the form.

7. I have a look in reverse through my hand mirror to see where anything has gone wrong.-I correct basic alignments.

8. All through this exercise I have no colour reference, I just wanted this guy to look worn out so I mixed all the three colours into each other as much as possible to get a wide variety of tones and colour temperature shifts.

9. Finally I couldn't resist but sketch into the wet oil with a charcoal pencil to get in some details(his strands of hair )that my impatience with oil will not allow me to do because it drys so slowly.


Carol Schiff Studio said...

Your sketch and your painting are beautiful and you used that wonderful linen in just the way it was intended. You are very talented, to do the painting without sketching first, and then to use color with no reference, BRAVO!

adebanji said...

Thanks Carol! Its a great encouragement to get comments on the ones I struggled on, thanks a million!

Peggi Habets said...

These are wonderful! The sketch stands on its own and the oil on canvas has great expression and brushstroke.

adebanji said...

Thanks Peggi!

Anonymous said...

The sketch is really fabulous and the painting is wonderful. I admire the way you sketch people because whenever I try they always see me looking hard at them and move away. It gets embarrasing at times. Hopefully when I get better at drawing peoples heads I might get quicker. Enjoying your blogs.

adebanji said...

Carol Thanks! I am happy you are getting into the sketching habit, just keep at it! After all it's all about sketching and with time speed comes naturally.

Where you sit on the bus or train really matters too. Try and make sure when you start off you don't sketch those who are right in front of you or too close to you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Adebanji, I will take your advice and try and sketch people farther away so maybe they don't notice me so much. Good sketching!

adebanji said...

Now that would be great!

You see, the sketch of this man must be one of the best I have done since I started 5 years ago to seriously start sketching on public transport and I haven't been able to capture the vitality I saw in this weathered man in colour- might attempt it in pastel.