Friday, March 18, 2011

Painting dark skin tones

First draft of 18 x 24 oil
When painting people, you have to take into account the surroundings...will they be neutral? A scene of some sort? A room? Going back to the "less is more" concept, the other thing is will the background or clothes detract from the subject?

So here, in an 18" x 34" oil are the challenges, not the first being that I had 3 days to paint this! And just a few photographs! The woman sat at a desk in a different set of clothes. The clothes they wanted were in another photo of her standing....white with some decoration.  And the hair was from still another photograph (the second image is the "correct" hairstyle:-). 

After roughing in the portrait clothes and sending it to the clients, I realized how the white overwhelmed her dark skin tones.  So I completely changed all the colors surrounding her so that the opposite happens....SHE pops:-)  Take a look.

I have not changed anything in her face except I darkened her teeth just a shade.
Second draft and changes to 18 x 24 oil

Now the focus is on her and not the white outfit!

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