Friday, June 26, 2009

"Mary in Kimberly" panel update

This session I worked further on her hair, beginning to define it's rhythms, and on blocking in some shadow in areas on the skin near the hair.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Mary in Kimberly" egg tempera panel update

In this session I worked on some subtle layering on the hair on top of her head, softening and shaping the eyebrows, and on giving the forehead more dimension.

A few more tips about working with egg tempera. If you try the suggestion in my video demo below about substituting gouache or watercolor, of the two, gouache is your best substitute option of the two, but I mentioned both if you don't have gouache on hand.

Choose a rigid support. The ideal surface for egg tempera is a rabbit-skin glue gessoed panel. (Acrylic gesso will not absorb as well or adhere the paint as well). Other surfaces I have used are Strathmore or Crescent rag illustration board (without gesso), something with a smooth tooth. I recommend this for beginners to try, but choose four-ply, not bristol, and avoid getting the board too wet to avoid warpage.

Apply the paint very thinly, and in layers. A common mistake most beginning egg tempera painters make is to apply the paint too thickly in one individual layer. Build your paint gradually and remember that the principle is translucency. You are building layers to create an illusion of a color, for example a layer of green, with a layer of vermillion on top would make a warm shadow on a face.

For any other questions that may arise I recommend this great online forum about egg tempera: Egg Tempera Forum

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"How to Mix Egg Tempera Medium," my video demo

I want to mention that my work from my recent post on miniature eye portraits has moved over to my newest blog, "Eye Portraits in Miniature," so please feel welcome to visit there to see further paintings by me on this topic in the future.

I hoped to post this video last weekend, but I went briefly out of town, so here, as promised, is my demonstration showing how I mix my medium for egg tempera painting, the medium I am using for my panel painting-in-progress of Kimberly, and which I have used for most of my paintings since my first introduction to it in 1976.

Obviously a demo like this can only scratch the surface, but I hope it may tempt you to try this wonderful medium! For more information on working with egg tempera I also highly recommend a visit to the Society of Tempera Painters website and it's informative discussion forum about the medium. Also, see my additional tips in the post above this one, and in the comments column.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pencil drawing for the next pastel of Terry

(In the process of transferring this onto the pastel board.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

For Terry

I've started another pastel of Terry, and hope to post an update on it's progress later tonight or tomorrow; however I want to let everyone know that Terry's mother, Mary, passed away on Sunday.  I send my love out to you, Terry, and express thanks to everyone who prayed for Terry, her Mom and family members during a tough time for the Sebastian family.  I appreciate condolences on behalf of Terry in the comments column this week.

Friday, June 5, 2009

"Terry's Left Eye" miniature eye portrait

"Terry's Left Eye", (actual size) 3/4", egg tempera on vellum

enlarged view of miniature eye portrait

Prayers continue for Terry's mom, Mary.  Terry's prayer:

Dear God,
Thank you for Mary and the beautiful life you have given her and us by being a part of this wonderful family.  Countless prayers have been sent on her behalf.  My prayer for her today is that she has the courage to let go and focus on that part of her that will never die.  That she see with her spiritual eyes that she is whole now.  That she remembers part of her is a part of You; that she is able to love and accept herself unconditionally right now exactly where and how she is - cancer and all.  Amen.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Peek at my progress on Terry's eye

(enlargement of 3/4" diameter original in progress)
egg tempera on vellum

Monday, June 1, 2009

Miniature Eye Portraits of Terry and Kimberly

sketch for Terry's left eye portrait 
(shown larger - actual dimension is 3/4" diameter)
sketch for Kimberly's #1 left eye portrait (3/4" diameter)
sketch for Kimberly's #2 left eye portrait (3/4" diameter)

On my miniature blog this week I am painting miniature eye portraits of my friend, fellow artist and blogger Kathleen Coy and her husband Jason, (thanks Kathleen!!) so I thought it would also be fun to try some miniature eye portraits of several of the women I have been doing spiritual portraits of, especially because of how our eyes,---even just one eye,---are an expression of our spirit.

Above are three sketches I have prepared to paint.  I'm trying two portraits of Kimberly's left eye, from two different photo references, because it's very interesting to see how much one eye can change with just a shift in the angle, lighting, or facial expression.  See my posts on the Ruby Slippers for more information about the charming tradition of miniature eye portraits or "lover's eyes".