Lady in Crimson

“Lady in Crimson” 12×16 Oil Painting on Gessoed Board

Oil painting of lady in crimson.

The reference photo was  taken in New York years ago.  I find such interesting looking people there, and so willing to pose for me right on the street. I enjoyed flailing paint about on in this painting and enjoy the crimson  added as a last minute decision.  I don’t create detailed sketches before I paint.  With a large brush, I create placement for the figure, then loose placement for features before beginning refinements.

This is what the process looked like for this painting. Locating  shapes.

First 5 Minutes of Painting

Below, finding mid tone values in face.  Do you wonder what that thing is on her head? Initially I was adding a tam – which she did not have,  After a while, I decided it looked like a “cap and gown” image – which it does, so the tam had to go.

Below, starting to look like a person – in “cap and gown”!  I’m convinced that ultimately it would not have, but given the way I finished the portrait, it would not have worked anyhow – do you know what I mean?

Below: I always like my paintings before they are finished, but never stop there.  It’s a dare that a few more strokes will make it better. Sometimes that works and sometimes I’m filled with deep regret!!  

I will tell you at this point that this is a Transgender person.  She wore a two piece fitted outfit with her midriff showing and hand on her hip – there was plenty of attitude.   I  like the painting at this point but kept painting creating a very different image.  Eventually,  I changed the jawline, softened the expression and added the crimson. the final is added below to make comparison easier.

Oil painting of lady in crimson.