Stages of a Lifesized 3/4 Length Portrait Painting

Summer 2021, Portrait of Jane Colleton by Ann Ponce, collection Evanston Township High School

Artist next to life sized photo of subject taken by Maria Ponce Berre

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Linear sketch on canvas

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Linear sketch on canvas next to photograph of subject

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Underpainting of background in yellow (to enhance green leaf imagery of top layer)

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Application of shadows using transparent browns

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Initial head study using correct values and temperatures, warm to cool

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Initial scraping and edge softening with brush while still wet

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More scraping and edge softening

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Refinement of colors and values while still wet

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Initial value sketch of hands

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Initial values of background and figure painted in

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Background added, wet-in-wet with mixed values of green

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Underpainting of necklace and clothing, washes over face to paint back into

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More underpainting of necklace and clothing

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Initial painting of dress and chair showing light and shadow areas; painted back into face for new layer; additional greens designed into background to balance composition and create depth in foliage imagery; Jane likes plants and trees, and this background seemed appropriate.

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Necklace completed, one bead at a time

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A few refinements

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Close-up of head with refinements

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More refinements (very small; not even I can detect them now!)

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Yet more refinements...

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Continued "tweaks"

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Final completed painting

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Close-up final of head

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Painting is now "off the easel"

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This was my initial study for the portrait, done in order to decide on a final pose. I considered this pose (in Jane's favorite spot, a ballet studio) to be too casual for where the final portrait was to hang, in a conference room with portraits of other long-term trustees of the Evanston Township Schools over the years.

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Here is the portrait framed and ready to deliver!