Nick K for JKPP, oil on Mylar, 9x12

Nick K for JKPP, oil on Mylar, 9×12 inches

Wanting to continue my alla prima portrait painting practice but without a live model, I picked a photo of Nick K. from Julia Kay’s Portrait Party to paint.

I recently looked up the saying, “Perfection is the enemy of good” and read about the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule or the law of diminishing returns that states it “takes 20% of the full time to complete 80% of a task, while to complete the last 20% of a task takes 80% of the effort.” This is so true with my painting. I can enjoy and complete the majority of a painting in 6 hours or less and then easily spend another 60 hours tweaking, finessing details, and overworking it until I’m sick of it. I stopped painting this one as soon as I’d said what I had to say, way before I usually consider a painting “finished,” but also long before it stops being fun.

After toning a sheet of Mylar (see previous post) with raw umber and letting it dry, I sketched out the image in thinned raw umber. Then I took a photo on my iPhone and using the Miira app, traced lines on my drawing to compare it to the original photo (first photo below). I could see I’d completely missed the boat and started another sketch on a fresh sheet, tested it again, and decided I was close enough to begin painting.

Later, I realized the mouth was in the wrong place and moved it. I discovered that when you turn a painting on Mylar over you can see the original drawing through the film (see the red arrow on the reversed image below, pointing to where I moved the mouth). I’m really trying to see the shapes and planes that make up the face and head. Holding up a bamboo skewer or knitting needle along the angles and “plumb lines” of the face really helps to visualize what lines up with what, and is helping my drawing tremendously.

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Category:
Faces, Oil Painting, Painting, People, Portrait, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 11 Comments

  1. Stunning eyes, Jana. Arresting face.

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  2. Jana, this is really great!

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  3. Very beautiful…would like to have seen the original you were painting from as well.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your progression, very instructive. Beautiful artistry Jana.

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  5. This is beautifully done! You’ve captured personality, life, and a story wonderfully in this piece. Excellent work!

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  6. […] blog about their work, but I only see their finished results. The only exception I can think of is Jana Bouc, she blogs every so often about her process. Great job […]

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