Sarah | Meiners and Lee Studios | The Art of Leslie Lee and Dennis Meiners

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Sarah was expecting her first baby to arrive in a week when I took this photo of her in her new hat at my daughter’s house. I thought it was interesting that after I got home I felt more compelled than usual to print out the photo and get going.  I enjoyed communing with Sarah for most of a whole day as I started the painting.  The next morning I thought about her and what I wanted to do with the painting throughout my yoga and meditation. Just as I finished my practice my daughter called to say that Sarah’s baby had arrived and all was well! No wonder I was so intent on her!

So- I think I will just run these photos without much comment, starting with the reference photo. Hope you enjoy the process. I enjoy your comments.

 Number 6 of six quick shots. I knew this was the one I was looking for.

 Darkened in Photoshop to see the shadows better.
This is a 16 by 20 canvas (…I think)

 Day one finished the under-painting establishing the values.
Because it’s obviously winter, I wanted the light to be cool. 
This meant the shadows needed to be warm and it all felt a bit counter-intuitive at first.

 Color change is from shooting in daylight and then under lights.
 End second day.
Back to daylight.
End of third session.
I kept the file size on these photos fairly big so you can click on them and then zoom in to see the brushwork

OK- Here’s a really big correction. Look at the eyes. See in the picture above how the eye on the right is higher and closer to the nose than it is in the picture on the right? This is a mistake I make again and again and it makes faces really wonky. At least now I know to be on the watch for it.

 More paint on the surface, leaving the brush stokes. More contrast and sharp edges where the hat is in shadow against her cheek. 
Hopefully this all brings focus to her face rather than the hat where I kept the edges soft. That hat is tough competition!   End of 4th session.
Just a little time today but more detail and highlights in the features. I like the way her eyes are sparkling now: A Mama-to-Be – “glowing”.
Wish me luck as I continue.

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