One day my friend Brooke suggested that I paint RBG. I loved the idea but my current Monday mournings series is of dead people. So I felt like I had to do something different with this portrait to set it apart from the series. (Also she's 83 so I don't want to jinx anything.)
I have some of these larger panels lying around left over from an old project several years ago and I thought going much larger with her would definitely set this portrait apart from the others and also be a nice challenge heading into the new year.
This photo shows a 6 x 6 inch painting from my Monday Mournings series on top of my start on this 24 x 24 inch one. I am not at all used to drawing this large and so I drew it out normally for me and then used the grid system to transfer and enlarge it onto the panel.
And then just I started painting in my normal sort of paint by number system: draw in the shapes of color and shadow, work with a limited palette of colors.
The light was really beautiful yesterday and I got to spend a couple hours working on the hair and her robe and jabot.
I'm still thinking on the background. I had leftover blue from the robe and so I just added some white to cover the grid lines in the background. It may or may not stay blue. I'm thinking I'd like to do something more interesting than a solid color but still subtle. So we'll see what I come up with.
It's been pretty fun to work large. I know I'm about to hit that wall where most of the decisions are made and it becomes about finishing and that's when I usually get bored. I've sort of surprised myself in that so far a portrait this large isn't taking as long as I imagined it would. This is three sessions of work and looking like maybe around three more to finish. We'll see how it goes and possibly looking at more larger pieces next year.
[Also I had a couple people already ask about prints of this so that's also an idea in the mix. Let me know if you'd be into that.]