Stages of a Lifesized 3/4 Length Portrait Painting
Summer 2021, Portrait of Jane Colleton by Ann Ponce, collection Evanston Township High School
Artist next to life sized photo of subject taken by Maria Ponce Berre
Linear sketch on canvas
Linear sketch on canvas next to photograph of subject
Underpainting of background in yellow (to enhance green leaf imagery of top layer)
Application of shadows using transparent browns
Initial head study using correct values and temperatures, warm to cool
Initial scraping and edge softening with brush while still wet
More scraping and edge softening
Refinement of colors and values while still wet
Initial value sketch of hands
Initial values of background and figure painted in
Background added, wet-in-wet with mixed values of green
Underpainting of necklace and clothing, washes over face to paint back into
More underpainting of necklace and clothing
Initial painting of dress and chair showing light and shadow areas; painted back into face for new layer; additional greens designed into background to balance composition and create depth in foliage imagery; Jane likes plants and trees, and this background seemed appropriate.
Necklace completed, one bead at a time
A few refinements
Close-up of head with refinements
More refinements (very small; not even I can detect them now!)
Yet more refinements...
Final completed painting
Close-up final of head
Painting is now "off the easel"
This was my initial study for the portrait, done in order to decide on a final pose. I considered this pose (in Jane's favorite spot, a ballet studio) to be too casual for where the final portrait was to hang, in a conference room with portraits of other long-term trustees of the Evanston Township Schools over the years.
Here is the portrait framed and ready to deliver!