September 2, 2015

Sam – Day 1 Challenge Painting

So last night’s painting session for me was day one of the 30 Days painting challenge. My theme is painting the feelings from various fandoms. I’m starting with some under-paintings I had ready to go since I haven’t painted in a couple of weeks.

It’s funny, the more I paint, the more I need to paint but when I stop it’s hard to get going again. Momentum. Plus, painting is physically and emotionally exhausting. If an artist doesn’t put a piece of her soul into every painting, it shows. When I return to painting after a break, my hands shake and I feel off. But only for short time and then I am running free.

I started this painting a while back, but only got it to the under painting stage. It’s a mated painting to the one of Dean I did earlier. Makes sense if you follow Supernatural.

I started with a chalk drawing and immediately went to pick out the lights and darks. Sam has a very expressive face, so getting his eyes right makes all the difference.


With every painting, I am tweaking my palette; allowing colours in that I never would have before. Layering paint means that I can be bold early on and knock the intensity down as I go. Bold colour shows me where any drawing errors lie and whether I’ve nailed the portrait.

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Adding in the reds to balance the yellows. Tweaking the hair colour and depth. In the shot, Sam is wearing a plaid shirt but I left basic fabric lights and darks in place. I hadn’t decided if I was going to go there or not.


You know what was missing? Magenta!

Go BOLD or go home! Painting isn’t for the timid.

Colour matters and check out what magenta did to this painting.


Love this so much! Finishing up with the push and pull of adding very thin layers of colour. Making shadows softer. I actually went back and bumped up the eye intensity at this point. Eyes matter. Jaw lines matter. And the plaid? Well details matter. Look how awesome the shirt turned out. Subtle but making the extra effort paid off.

I also balanced out the painting by adding in glazes of blue to the background. There was no depth with the green before but now, SHAZAM! All depth, all the time.



20″ x 16″

Acrylic on stretched canvas

Want prints or the original? Hop on over to my store or contact me directly. I love it when my art finds a good home.

I’m currently in the midst of a 30 Paintings, 30 Days challenge! Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr to see the action as it happens. Want more info? You can check out the challenge here.