Hello again. The image above is where I was at after a few days of painting John waterhouse’s A Naiad. I thought I’d taken pictures before I’d got to this stage but obviously not. Here, I’ve just put in some background colours for the flesh and some trees. I was really pleased to find a flesh colour I liked as it’s something I’ve struggled with in the past. I found this wonderful little article on the internet which helped me a great deal. Basically, I’ve used Titanium White (being the majority of the mix) with Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red and Ultramarine. To darken the skin you can add more Yellow Ochre or maybe some Burnt Umber (or maybe both). It’s mainly a case of experimenting and seeing what you like. I have a few images of A Naiad and their colours vary greatly. Some are pale whereas others are ‘orangey’ and flushed with colour, so I’m not really sure what the original is meant to be like. I’ve gone for what I think looks ok.
I’ve worked mainly on the Naiad’s face as I figured that it was the most important part of the painting. If I didn’t get that part of it right, or at least to a point I was happy with, then I probably wouldn’t carry on with it. I detest doing bad pictures and, as I’ve done my fair share of those, it’s probably what puts me off painting altogether at times. The face I’ve done so far is ok but I wasn’t entirely happy with it. I know I’m not going to get it perfect but I wanted it to look better than it was in the above photo. Her bottom lip just looked all wrong and a few other things besides.
A few dimly lit nights later and I’d gotten as far as the photo below.
This is, for the most part, how it looks today and I’m quite pleased with it. She has a certian kind of beauty about her which is the main thing I wanted to achieve. I’ve also done most of the top part of her body here as well, including her chest and hair.
I’ll be honest and say it’s a bit scary starting off painting a picture. I look at the sketch I’ve done and wonder ‘How the hell am I going to do this?’ It’s kind of like learning to swim all over again and hoping I’m not going to drown. It’s exciting though, I have to admit that, and a joy like little else.
Well, I don’t think there’s much else to add, so I’m off for my cocoa.