Here are some progress photos of a piece I did this past August. It's approximately 22x36, oil on canvas, titled "Red".
After I did a few sketches to decide on a composition and a quick color study, I did an umber underpainting to decide on my values and then blocked in color.
I continued working all over, never stopping at just one spot, so I could always compare values and intensity of hues. I also check the drawing every day, since it is a live model, it is important to be flexible and change the drawing if necessary.
Every new day I sit in front of my painting, even if I've been working on it for weeks, I pause and sit quietly for 10 minutes, assessing what I see/drawing/values, etc. I might make notes so I remember throughout the day. I am always surprised, thinking "Why didn't I see this yesterday?".
"To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at."
October Artist of the Month - Kelly Oakes
This piece is called "Grandma's Beach" and its is an oil on linen 18"x 24". Most of my work is done from a live model in front of me, although I do some commission work from photos.
This piece was done this summer at the Art Students League in NYC. It took about 3weeks, 3 hours a day/5days a week. Working from life is a privilege as the model is working harder than the artist and it is so much harder than anyone thinks.
I first do thumbnail sketches to get a good composition. Then I do color sketches and then finally do an underpainting on a toned canvas. I work very thinly at first, blocking in color to establish values. Then I gradually paint thicker, always comparing colors and values. I don't always have this much time with a model or to work this long and detailed on a portrait. The pictures below begin to show progression as I add color and depth to the piece.
Over the month I will post a few photos of some portraits that I did in a few hours each to show another side of my work. More "a la prima".... painting wet/all at once.