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SBS test portrait using Etac parchment white and bisque

Discussion in 'Step by Step' started by beanpoleuk, May 2, 2016.


  1. beanpoleuk

    beanpoleuk Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    As promised here is my attempt at trying a portrait using the parchment white and bisque as a ‘base’ for the skin tone.

    I am not sure how these new paints are ‘supposed’ to be used by the experts, this is just my attempt which may be completely the wrong approach :)

    The reference I have used is an unknown model with a cat, I thought it would also be good to try the parchment white as a base for the white fur on the cat.

    First Stage:

    Here I have lightly mapped out everything in Burnt Umbra, (looks kind of grey in the poor lighting), this gives me the basic shapes and shadow areas. I use burnt umbra as this is a ‘warm’ base for any transparents I will put over the top, if I wanted a colder feel to the final colours ,(or any other area on the painting), I would use Paynes grey as the base. During this stage I also establish textures with the pencil eraser in both the model and the cat.
    First_stage_umbra.jpg

    Second stage:

    Now I have applied a layer of bisque, this ‘pink’ colour will form the base skin tone , I cover all the burnt umbra but avoid the light area’s just let any overspray drift into the light areas. This is just a very light covering with the gun held at least 6” away from the surface to ensure nice smooth blends.
    second_stage_brisk.jpg

    Third Stage:

    Before moving on I decided to put a bit of detail into the eyes, so tightened up the dark area’s a bit and added golden Ochre to the iris, no need for erasing here, just careful work with the AB.
    Yellow_eyes.jpg

    Next I add some green to the iris.
    green_eyes.jpg

    Increase contrast a bit but touching up with burnt Umbra in the iris.

    eyes_darkened.jpg

    Also decided to start on the lips, here I used a few of layers of the bisque, and a light dusting of red ochre. Building up the colour of the lips gave me an idea how dark you can go with the bisque if you keep building up the layers.
    started_lips.jpg

    Fourth Stage:

    Now I have applied a layer of parchment white, mainly over the bisque but again letting some overspray drift into the light areas, this is just a light layer and I can see a nice ‘peach’ tone starting to develop. As usual the key is just keep applying light layers , parchment for the lighter areas and bisque for the areas you want a ‘pinky peach colour’.

    started_pharchment_white.jpg

    If I continued with just these two colours I would end up with a rosy peach complexion the tone and depth of which would depend how many layers I applied. In this case I want to see what colour shift I can achieve by also using the ochres

    So here I have now used red ochre to warm up the tone where her face is in the shadows (her right, but left as you look at the image). I also did a bit more work on the eyes, notice how the rest of the colours look a different shade now I have added some reasonably dark areas , it is surprising how as you start to build contrast / and colour in one area it affects your perception of the untouched areas, very confusing …
    starting the buildup.jpg

    Fifth Stage:

    As the hair is very dark I thought it best to start on the main bulk of the hair to see how the rest of the colour tones on the face looked. First off I start with a layer of brown ochre.
    started_hair.jpg

    Then go back in with burnt umbra for the dark areas in the hair.

    added_dark_to_hair.jpg

    Continued...
    doc1, Chainlinkgrin, Lowrider and 5 others like this.
  2. beanpoleuk

    beanpoleuk Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    Repeat for the rest of the hair until the required depth/tone, between each layer I re-establish hair texture where required with the pencil eraser.

    continue_with dark hair.jpg

    With the rest of the hair in place, I can see some adjustment is required to the skin tones mainly adding bisque or red ochre to darken some areas and parchment white to lighten areas, the parchment white has now drifted into all the light areas so to lighten any ‘highlights’ on the face I can use the parchment white without any fear of blue shift. Also again revisited the eyes , just touching up and refining detail. Also needed to go back into the hair and darken with burnt umbra.

    hair_almost done.jpg

    Sixth stage: The Cat

    Decided to leave the portrait for now and do some more work on the cat, so first I used a light coat of the parchment white for the white fur areas, (doesn’t seem to show up well with my crappy phone camera), and yellow ochre for the rest of the fur in the area I am going to work on. I tend to work in small area’s at a time so I can be sure the result will be what I am after and it helps to keep the detail level up if I am working in a small area. I am using yellow ochre because I know from experience brown ochre on top will give me the colour I am after.

    cat_yellow_ochre.jpg

    Next onto a coating of brown ochre, I can again apply more golden ochre or more brown ochre depending how dark I want the shade to be, using burnt umbra will also give me a darker but different tone.

    cat_brown_ochre.jpg

    Next the eyes as I can’t bear to leave them to last, and finishing the eyes seems to bring any painting to life. I used the same process and layering as for the lady’s eyes, I have also touched up the darker area’s with burnt umbra particularly the cat’s ear.

    cat_eyes_done.jpg

    Up until now I have not used any erasing since I started to colour the cat, now the main colour is in place I apply textures with the fibre pen, after this I will use burnt umbra to add shading and shadows.

    cat_textures.jpg

    Carried on with the rest of the cat textures and colouring, going back and forth with the golden ochre, brown ochre and burnt umbra until the cat fur was complete, then just a case of erasing the whiskers with the fibre pen.

    Last thing I did was to go over the while face with a very light dusting of the bisque which I think just brings everything together and adjusted the skin tone overall just slightly, (again another experiment).

    And it’s done :

    test_finished.jpg


    Well that’s it my little test finished, hope this has been useful but please bear in mind I have not been on a portrait course (or any other course for that matter ), so this may certainly not be the correct way to approach a colour portrait , but rather me flying by the seat of my pants again and hopefully not crashing :).
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  3. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA QuickDraw and very happy #nobrushleftbehind Staff Member Mod

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    Thanks for the SBS - I've had a quick look through and will read it in detail soon - some gems in there!
    beanpoleuk likes this.
  4. Micha der Wolf

    Micha der Wolf Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Thank you! A color portrait is on my to do list! :thumbsup:
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  5. Smiler65

    Smiler65 Detail Decepticon!

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    Nice one Steve, nice and sensible approach to a trail which you have pulled off nicely. Good to hear you can build up a variety of complexions and even warm them up with the ochres.
    I think the last photo, finished one, shows off the colours truer if that makes sense.

    Looking forward to your next trial.
  6. beanpoleuk

    beanpoleuk Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    Thanks, i really need to get a decent camera rather than my phone, especially when I am trying to photograph subtle colour changes..

    Sent from my SM-J500FN using Tapatalk
  7. Smiler65

    Smiler65 Detail Decepticon!

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    Or a camcorder :whistling:
  8. Cordyk

    Cordyk Sheriff Woody (Admington) Admin

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    Fantastic mate, thanks for sharing all those tips and colour breakdown, will help many myself included
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  9. matty171

    matty171 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Thanks bean


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  10. mickolaus

    mickolaus Double Actioner

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    Very nice and very helpful for me. Thank you
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  11. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Thanks Bean I just bought an 11x14 clayboard for a portrait I want to do and this helps alot on colors to use for it!
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  12. musicmacd

    musicmacd The Createx Bandit Very Likeable!

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    Thanks Bean, great to see what can be done with those babies!! Also Have you seen the new light grey and Moss green they added to their range, light grey would be great for this approach. Simultanious contrast is what you are describing where colours appear to shift, it fascinates me, it also happens in the audio world too with the way 2 sounds interact!
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  13. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight Code Dragon Slayer Admin

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    An other great one bean :)
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  14. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Amazing job!

    I have watched every video on YouTube on Color Theory & I'm still lost! I will waste half a bottle of Driscoll skin tone trying to mix skin tone haha.
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  15. ferret

    ferret Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Cheers beanpole for a great SBS ,I'm gonna have to give etac a go I think .
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  16. michael13

    michael13 Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

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    Great SBS thanks bean
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  17. musicmacd

    musicmacd The Createx Bandit Very Likeable!

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    Mate feel free to ask questions you like, i feel that I have a handle on creating any colours! In fact I love it!
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  18. Melbee

    Melbee Detail Decepticon!

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    Great result Bean and very useful to me because I just started with colour today and used the Bisque for the first time. I have the Parchment, Red Ochre, Sepia Smoke and Burnt Umber too but don't have all the Ochers you used, it gives me a good idea how things work though. I'm very impressed mate :thumbsup::D
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  19. Zotilraxx

    Zotilraxx Air-Valve Autobot!

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    This is exactly what I was looking for. I know that there are artists that would start with a monochrome portrait (b/w) and add colors towards the end. I just want to see how it is done. I would need to give this a shot in my project redo. Thanks Bean!
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  20. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Purrrrrrrrfic:D:thumbsup::thumbsup:
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