Having decided to paint a full figure portrait of my friend Cameron I did a few further drawings / quick watercolour paintings in my A4 sketchbook.
I opted for a slightly different pose from the figure in interior picture I painted earlier in which the hands are not intertwined. It is slightly more sleepy and relaxed. I experimented with leaving areas white / unpainted. What I like about these imperfect and very quick sketches is the looseness of the line. I added Cameron’s favourite satchel and mobile phone. I was attracted by the white body version but at this stage had not necessarily decided to go down that route.
I then painted a small, experimental head and shoulders portrait (roughly A4) using red as the predominant colour for the skin. I tried a bit of wax resist around the r/h side thinking I might get a bit of a white glow if I used very dilute acrylic paint. It created a very subtle effect but the wax wanted to mix with the acrylic. Interesting to try. This is actually a good likeness of Cameron – the best I’ve created. I did not pursue the red because I felt the colour has too much tension for the relaxed, sleepy portrait I wished to paint. It is effective though. In fact I quite like this portrait and now wish I’d positioned the head more to the right.
My direction for this portrait was still unclear but I did know that I wanted a strong focus on line so I painted Cameron’s hands and experimented with line using Conté crayon (1) and black paint (2). Both I felt were too heavy and of course the hands would be much smaller in my final portrait so I decided to use drawing pen on top of the acrylic which I know works from my earlier painting of the Iranian migrants. I was so absorbed in the lines that I only noticed later that I’ve given Cameron six fingers on one hand! Better to make that mistake at this stage rather than later…
Still feeling uncertain about final approach but decide to press on with the final portrait.