They are the window to the soul. Mesmerizing...captivating...tricky.
I have spent the last 3 hours doing nothing but painting eyes. Wow, you're thinking...she is studying eyes! She must have painted lots of eyes!
Just one pair. For 3 hours. Ok, maybe 2 and a half hours.
After breaking the "painting" ice this weekend by doing a trial painting on a mini-canvas, I feel ready to tackle my first "real" painting. And portraiture is where I begin.
I have a photograph of Brooklyn that I took about a year ago and I love it. It's very zoomed in on her face and here eyes are enormous and golden brown and quite compelling. The value is not great - the flash just about sucked in her whole face, but somehow, that makes the overall picture that much more radiant.
So I spent this afternoon making a sketch of the photograph. And then I kind of got carried away and sketched Dorien who was sleeping beside me and then a photograph of August I'd like to paint and another photograph of Brooklyn. It was downright blissful.
I took those sketches with me to art class tonight and showed Endia, my instructor. She was very keen on the idea of my painting these portraits and was especially excited about my working on Brooklyn's eyes.
She gave me some undivided attention for a few minutes, teaching me (by demonstration) how to work on eyes. Wow.
I mean, WOW! First of all, Endia is amazing. And a great teacher.
After I used a projector to enlarge my earlier sketch of the photograph to my canvas, I began mixing paints (burnt umbers, black, oranges, etc) to get the right colors. Then blending and reworking....
And I am happy to say that by the end of class, I had two pretty good eyes staring back at me from an otherwise white canvas. And I do mean staring at me. These things are intense.
And I'm terrified of what comes next. Skin tone.
But most of all, I am amazed that I could spend so long just working on a pair of eyes. And have such an insanely wonderful time. (and I apologize for the dreadful pictures)