Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mother and Child

When I first saw this picture as a Facebook profile picture, I said to myself I had to paint it. I thought it looked so much like a modern version of Madonna and the Child, and it's got such a great of feeling of motherly love.

This was painted with oil paint on 10"x14" stretched canvas. In the original picture, mommy was wearing glasses. I thought the glasses, with all the harsh edges, would take too much attention away from the main focus, so I dropped the glasses, with mommy's consent. I also wanted the picture to have a feeling of mommy and baby are in heaven. So I dropped all the things in the background, house, wall, neighbor's house, and used a tone of white instead.

It started out as a sketch. Then I did a burnt umber underpainting. After that, I did a black and white underpainting for all the flesh parts, but went straight to color for the other parts, such as clothing, and the mother's hair, since I didn't see much value doing a black and white underpainting on the non-flesh parts.

After the black and white underpainting dried, it was time to do skin color. I used Rowney's flesh tint, adding in some raw sienna a touch of gold orche as needed, and also a little olive green for the mother's Asian skin color. Shadows were combination of brown madder, red violet, blue gray, ultramarine blue, ultramarine violet, and olive green.

The baby's skin tone was more Caucasian than Asian, as she's a mix. So there was very little yellow and no olive green in the skin color. Light pink and some flesh tone were the predominant colors, toned down with red violet and blue gray. The baby's skin also showed bluish tone in some places as her skin was so fragile.

The mommy's hair was a combination of different colors: Reddish brown, Van Dyck brown, raw umber (a yellowish brown and is a great color for hair), violet gray and a touch of black, violet some orange.

The highlights in mommy's hair, shoulder and hand were in lemon yellow (cold color). The shadows were warm. In the beginning, I had a yellowish white as the background. However, Oxana pointed out that the faces were in warm shadow, so it was best to have a cool color background. So I changed the background to a cool light blue, more specifically, white with a touch of Gamblin's radiant blue.

It took me about 3 weeks (including drying time), to do this. My next challenge is to take this on a long haul flight back!

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