I'm currently working simultaneously on two Civil War Portraits busts from the FeR miniatures range, both sculpted by the excellent Eduard Perez Delgado Farenheit. I'm doing a lot of my painting with oils these days and whilst the overall painting time for an area can be relatively fast, the slow drying time for oils means that I often have to stop to allow areas time to dry between the various painting/layering stages. So by working on two pieces simultaneously I'm hoping to optimise avalable painting time between the two, and take advantage of any time-saving efficiencies that I can gain in the process painting similar aspects of each.
Initial laying in of skin tones.
Mouth painted and further refinement of highlights and warmth in key areas of face.
5 o'clock shadow and limited dirt effects added
Eyes painted and moving on to the hair....
Initial laying in of skin tones
Blocking in base colour for the hair and eyes
5 o'clock shadow added. Darker than for the artilleryman to suit hair colour and give a rugged feel.
Eyes painted and fnal refinements to highlights and shadows. Warmth added in various areas to give the face more 'life'
I'm currently mixing all of my basic skintones from a palette of 5 oil colours: lamp black, alizarin crimson, burnt umber, yellow ochre and titanium white.
Whilst I will paint a face over several sessions rather than 'alla prima' I save myself the trouble of remixing the colours by puttng my palette in the freezer in a small tupperware pot between sessions. An extremely useful and time-saving trick I learnt from Brian Snaddon a while ago.
I recently read that putting some clove oil on a cotton bud tip with the palette in a closed container stops a skin forming on the paint because of the vapours emitted from the oil. I haven't tried this out yet but will do so when I manage to acquire some clove oil.
Whilst it initially felt strange to be working on two pieces simultaneously I'm starting to get quite comfortable with this now and it definitely yields some improvements in efficiency and productivity as there is always something I can be working on at any given time. In time perhaps I'll be able to progress to three pieces simultaneously without losing too much focus on any individual piece....
So I've made quite a bit of progress with these two busts although I was slowed down a bit as I was on holiday for several days. Here are some pics of the progression during the last couple of weeks. Click on individual images to enlarge.
This piece is well progressed now and I just need to shade and highlight the buttons before tackling the overcoat.
Final highlights on jacket
Continuing work on the white strap but the all important highlight line has been added to the black leather strap to complete the effect of separation.
White strap in progress and trying to create with painting alone the illusion of tension creases.
Straps base coloured and black strap almost finished.
Dirt effects introduced on jacket. The dark separation lines between straps and jacket painted at this stage which I find easier than trying to paint them after painting the straps.