Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Figure Painting from Photos and Color Study

Last week, my beautiful friend Margaret came over 
and I asked her to model for me in the late afternoon sun. 

I did a quick (poorly drawn) color study in about 30 minutes

Today, I set up the study, the image and the panel together. 

I blocked in everything in shadow using all values darker than middle grey, 
using my color study as a guide 

(I draw a line down the center of my pallet
 to keep the dark and light values separate.
Once the shadow shapes are all in, 
I clean my brushes and start to use white 
on the other side.   

Red Shorts 
8 x 10 

I took my time with this and made every stroke count. 
I only gave myself one stroke per shape. 

Color studies done in actual sunlight are invaluable tools 
when painting from photos. 


  1. Good study .... thanks for sharing how you did this. I always need reminders and it helps to see how other artists do things.

  2. So nice, Nancy! Thanks much. Love the way you simplify!!! Every time I go to one of your blogs it makes me want to paint. I guess that's the definition of inspiration. Thanks again!

  3. Wonderful lesson for us all. Enjoyed seeing your process and your seperating the lights and darks that way.

  4. Nancy, what a great post! So informative! Love the step by step process, and gorgeous result!

  5. I love this post ,thanks for sharing how you went about the process. Wonderful simplified steps and a great end result. I love how you divided your palette keeping the lights and darks separated. Very confident brush strokes. Wonderful job !

  6. Interesting Nancy. I think it's cool what you did with your palette - I've never thought of that. I like how you simplified the background. It can be tough to know what to leave out.

  7. Nancy, I just found your blog and really appreciate this post. What a great idea dividing the lights and darks on the palette.
    Great painting with a subtle abstract design.

  8. Thanks for sharing this info with us. I too like the way you simplified the background.

  9. Enjoy seeing your work! Thanks for sharing your process in painting this! Like the way you simplified the background with light filled shadows.

  10. Love the idea of splitting the palette....very cleaver!! Makes it easier to really see the colors. I need to take your next class after Sept!!!