I am often asked how a painting is made. Most of mine are made in stages, building the forms and atmosphere slowly so I have maximum control. These took about 4 months, each stage taking 4 – 5 hours

This is the first stage made over a charcoal outline drawing with Light Red and Ivory Black. Cremnitz white is used throughout.

2nd stage uses mainly the same colours to strengthen the forms. I use a thin glaze (cold pressed linseed oil 50/50 with white spirit) and work lighter and darker colour into it. The face on the right has had the glaze but not the work like the figure on the left.

The same process continues through stage 3 introducing more colour into the background and the dresses

And again for stage 4. At which point I notice an annoying disproportion of the arm on the left figure.

So I change it, matching as closely as I can to the surrounding quality over two more sessions. The whole process is designed to avoid having to make changes at this stage so I’m really pissed off with myself.

Stage 6 is done with glazes (Winsor and Newton Glazing and Blending Medium) and some heightening with white. I think it’s finished but you never know.

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  • Reply
    Mo Del
    October 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks Harry, great post. Like to see work documented and have shared this with the life model group as sure many will gain from this.

  • Reply
    Sophie Ploeg
    November 13, 2012 at 6:44 am

    What a stunning painting and great to see how it came about. Thank you for sharing your steps.

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