Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Flying By The Seat of My Portrait Pants via Palette Knife

Excited to get into the studio this morning working on a new palette knife portrait of a lovely young lady called Kim who has inspired me.

This one is from Friday, a three-hour life sitting of the lovely Lynette. I sure had fun. I worked 'inside out', a technique I first saw Morgan Weistling do, and then subsequently Jeremy Lipking. To truly work this way you don't do any preparatory drawing at all. Just start on a part of the face or body, say an eye, and get it correct before moving on to the thing next to it.

It is different from the way I usually work 'outside in', where you block in the whole head generally and then get more specific with the the features and likeness. I have been working this way for a long time taught me by my mentor Mr. Everett Raymond Kinstler. It would certainly remain my method of choice for a portrait commission where I am not seeking a 'flying by the seat of my pants' art experience.

Both ways are good however and it's fun to shake it up a bit. I find my palette knife technique is really suited to working inside out but I still need a quick block-in drawing to make me feel like I know the rough placement of things on the canvas even though I don't feel the need to 'fill in' the block-in. If things change as I work inside out, that's fine and half the fun.

By Johanna Spinks
Oil on linen via palette knife.

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