Using the quadrant method (or whatever it is called, drawing little squares over the image to reproduce and larger squares over the paper that will serve as carbon paper) I enlarge an image of "Sleeping Head" by Lucian Freud.

The back of the Kraft paper has dry pigment rubbed in it, and I retraced the blowup drawing which gives the lines to follow, and the good proportions for the reproduction.

Then "recherche de couleur" I decided (under my teacher's guidance) that this five colors would be enough: cobalt blue, titanium white, yellow ocre, red ocre, and natural sienna.

My teaches said to lay down a background of flesh color and then add the bluish green over it.

End of first day.

My teacher said that Freud painted the body first under the cover so I sketchily painted that.

Then she told me to do the eyes.

New session, Wednesday evening. Started the lower cheek, but the colors got away from me. I had two images of the painting, one had these darker colors, but it is not the one I wanted to paint. Didn't know what to do, felt like I was just fingerpainting (and not in a good way).

So my (wonderful) teacher said "just cover up the lower part" and start working on the other cheek without being distracted by the colorful mess.So I started dabbing away with different mixes of the five colors I used (cobalt blue, red ocre, natural sienna, yellow ocre and white).

Still didnt feel like I knew what I was doing...

And then I uncovered the lower part and "erased" the mess I had made by using the liquid medium that you dilute colors with. Done with this two hour session. Not very quick.

Beginning new 150 minute session. starting filling in empty flesh, nose.

Redid the lower cheek and began lip color.

Laid down a background hair color, end of session.

Started working on hair to make it look less flat.

Started giving her better flesh tones (I liked better anyway) on upper right forehead, I will carry this over the face. Hair is better, darkened lower cheek, worked on ear, lips.

Gave the whole face a healthier flesh tone, departing from the original, I am done with this one. Now I have all summer (until October) to choose a new subject.

Final product

Click on a picture to expand and read the corresponding description.


Painter Portraitist Artist