Saturday, January 05, 2008

Blessed Mother Teresa, and other paintings in progress

Blessed Mother Teresa

Another completed Blessed Mother Teresa portrait. Did you know that British author Christopher Hitchens was the sole witness the Vatican called to testify against Mother Teresa's beatification in 2003? His opinion was judged to be without merit, which probably led to his penning the irrational God Is Not Great, in which he argues religious belief is entirely without merit.

Pope John Paul II the Great oil portrait in progress

A Pope John Paul II the Great portrait in progress. All high tones for now in this first application of oil; you can see the original black acrylic underpainting around the edges of the canvas.

Reverend Billy Graham portrait in progress

A Reverend Billy Graham portrait in progress. How can you not have him with a Bible? The time period here is from the Johnny Cash era, around 1969 or so when his hair was just beginning to turn white. My main reference material is from YouTube crusade videos, although I did purchase a 1960 Life Magazine issue from Midway books in St. Paul today to help with the eyes.

For this portrait I've applied a water/gesso/clear acrylic gel base coat over Polyflax canvas and then sketched out the figure with a black Derwent flat compressed charcoal pencil. After spray fixing the drawing to keep it from running I apply a second acrylic gel coat tinted with ochre and burnt sienna. More than likely I'll apply a third acrylic coat (well watered so as not to lose our canvas texture) consisting of some final dark and lights before proceeding with the oil application. I'm hoping to execute the final stage alla prima using a Vermeer-like technique, although I really dislike sticky and long-drying mediums. Attracts cat hair.

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