Liz here. I just finished a new painting of Henri, and since he is sleeping under the desk (as usual) he gave me permission to take over for the day and share the creative process with you.
Here is the finished result, which will be available shortly in the etsy store:
I have been wanting to experiment with acrylics recently for a couple of reasons, one, they may be less toxic for the baby’s sake (although that is probably debatable), but mostly because they dry faster and that means I can do more paintings of Henri and also commissions. Usually I paint with oils, which take six months to a year to fully dry, and I can’t imagine most people wanting to wait that long to get their portrait, do you?
So this was a first experiment, and since I hadn’t painted for a while and wanted to just get going on it, I decided to dispense with the sketching (which sometimes I will do on paper first and then on the canvas, and just do a quick sketch in paint on the canvas.
Then, I painted in the background to start to build up the color:
And then revisited some of the detail:
And then painted over those again. I noticed plenty of paint was key to getting the smoothness and mixing in color on the canvas that I like.
I was quite pleased with the day’s work and honestly was somewhat tempted to just leave it but it’s just too easy to leave paintings unfinished so you don’t “ruin” them and I really wanted to finish this one. Especially because it was going sooo much faster than with my usual oil paints! Usually those get too wet and start to turn muddy after a certain point so you have to stop. But the nice thing about acrylics is that you can just keep going! I’m not a total convert, mind you. But I am happy that they dry so fast and they were not as difficult to work with as I had anticipated.
So, the next day of painting, I added in a few more layers, a few more details and some highlights.
And that’s it! A painting finished in 2 days! That is certainly a record for me.