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Posts Tagged ‘portraiture’

Here is a fun painting! Like my others lately, it was a quick one to finish, taking only a day and a half to complete. I wanted to try something really whimsical and free-flowing, while still defining the form of the face. I had a lot of fun with it, and I think I am slowly getting this loose-ness out of my system. It is really fun to experiment and I think that this period of loose experimentation will help me paint faster in the future, even when I am working tightly.

I notice that when working in only two colors like this, it is harder to get an accurate representation of the piece out of my scanner. Or at least I notice the differences in the colors more. I am not working with the best scanner in the world here. In fact, its a very basic home model. Fortunately I have a lot of know-how in photoshop and can, with lots of tinkering, get my pieces to look pretty close to the original.

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Part of my senior thesis project was to do a series of three. I chose to do a series of three portraits, of three women, in three different modes of costume, interacting with three different classifications of animals.

The first portrait is of a woman in a tradition costume. A garment invented in the distant past, worn today for celebrations or special occasions. All three paintings started with photo reference; each model dawned the appropriate clothing, and was photographed either outside or in a studio setting with adequate lighting. The next step was to do a final sketch, transfer to illustration board, and finally, begin painting.

Each painting consists of a liquid acrylic under painting, watercolor, and colored pencil. The second panting is of a a woman in a contemporary, normative mode of costume, or as most people know it–street clothes.

The third and final painting in the series also happens to be a self portrait, to fill another requirement of my senior thesis project. Here I am wearing an obscure, decorative form of costume, or the sort of stuff that most people think of when they hear the term costume.

One of my favor animals since childhood has been the Komodo dragon, but I can’t fit one of those on my arms, so I settled for the Australian monitor lizard instead. It is closely related to the Komodo dragon, and is just as smart, but a lot smaller.

You can view this and other brand new illustrations in my color illustration portfolio.

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Here is the first assignment from my oil painting class. Our task was to define an alter-ego for ourselves, and to paint our likeness on this fantasy identity.

I decided that my alter-ego would be an exotic snake charmer, hiding from the dessert sun in her lavish arabian, or maybe Egyptian palace. My alter-ego would be a very mysterious and even dangerous person, hence she keeps the company of snakes. There are nineteen snakes in this painting. My birth year is represented by the snake in the Chinese zodiac, and I’ve always really liked to draw reptiles..so why not be a snake charmer? I don’t like the hot sun, or the sand but my alter-ego embraces a slightly sandy lifestyle than me. But even the pretend me would spend her time in the shade.

Taking reference for this photo was really fun. I already owned most of the costume, and I wrapped a towel around my shoulder for the python. This piece was very meticulous to paint, but I enjoyed myself. I think that the way I envisioned the painting rendered lent itself well to oils. I learned a lot from this piece, and even though oils may not be my medium of choice going forward, I am happy to have learned how to use them and to learn what sets them apart visual and technically from water based mediums.

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Here is the finished painting of my first project done in acrylic inks. I know I already posted the second one, but I had to wait for my professor to hand this one back before I could scan it.

The assignment was to paint a part of my head as a piece of produce, and show my reaction to it. Because a lot of people choose to depict horrified faces for this assignment, I decided to make a change that I wouldn’t mind so much. I am not saying that I would like to replace my hair with grapes, but it wouldn’t be as bad as having a watermelon for a head. Grapes after all, have all of the qualities of healthy hair. They are smooth and shiny, with plenty of volume and texture. And if I had grape-hair. I would never have to live with frizz again!!

Using acrylic inks is a lot like painting with watercolors, only a lot less forgiving. You only get one shot, because the paint cannot be reanimated once dry. It is permanent! And this whole painting was painted transparently, meaning that if I made a mistake on one layer, it would show through to the next layer. Yikes! Painting transparently means building up from light to dark. No going backwards; you can only get darker working with transparent inks.

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I completed this painting a few weeks ago, but didn’t post it on the web because it was a SURPRISE for my friend. You may have seen the black and white practice version posted here not long ago, but now, here is the totally separate color painting. This is the first oil painting that I did both opaquely, and in color. I think that the oil paints have a really beautiful luminous quality to them. In person this painting really GLOWS.

painting by Shauna Leva

 

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Portrait in Charcoal

This is pretty straight forward. This charcoal drawing was done in figure drawing class, from a live model, in about 2 hours.We worked on gray paper so that we could bring out the highlights with a white charcoal pencil. I worked up the drawing with vine charcoal first, and then went in with a charcoal pencil to add in the details. The picture is just one of the new additions to the drawing gallery.

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