Friday 1 June 2018

#337 'Dune' 12x16" & Surrey Open Studios!

My first attempt at a portrait!! I haven't even tried to paint one in my studio, just felt quite scary and uncertain, so went on a ROI painting day at The Mall Galleries to make me do it! 

I decided to act as if.... pretend I felt confident even though I didn't and put the paint down in strong marks and leave them.
I had dipped into an excellent little book before I went called 'Starting to Paint Portraits' by Barnard Dunstan. Its really useful and written in a friendly old fashioned manor.

I premixed my colours before I started like I'd do a plein air landscape. Having a bigger board means the head isn't too small or fiddly, a large area to cover though!

I started with her hair the darkest area, Ultramarine & Burnt Sienna, warmer and cooler patches through it. Then the most intense area - her cheek. I worked outwards from there comparing areas to the intensity and tone of her cheek. 
I put the background next to her skin as soon as I could as its a large area and didn't want to leave it till the last!

I am happy with the result and its encouraged me to try more :-)

You are invited to our Open Studios based in Haslemere Surrey UK. 
If you follow me on here you will know I have a lot of new paintings! Over a 100 to show, so if you are local and have the time it would be great to see you!


  1. An amazing first attempt. Strong colours and tones and perfect proportion of body to head and of portrait to board size.

  2. Exciting and challenging to push yourself to not only try something new, but also at the Mall Galleries AND with the ROI! Sometimes I think that can help, don't you, throwing yourself into the deep end - oddly it can quite be liberating - you will be pleased no matter what the outcome, because you were brave enough to have a go. NOT that this outcome isn't fantastic, I hasten to add. I can picture her strong, graceful posture, and you have given her form, recession, I could go on! Bravo Clare!

  3. Brilliant. Well done!

  4. Well done Clare, I am always fascinated by portraiture and I greatly admire your colour choices and the confidence of your brush strokes. It is not easy and I think you have caught the personality of the model, she looks like a very determined kind of person.