Lots of Layers


b8-27laughing copy

This one is more tightly wound than I would like.  I was so enchanted with the light on the hair and face, that I got carried away.  I should have gone alla prima with this. Instead I blocked it in (thinly under painted hues and values), and kept refining to achieve more detail, in order to work all those little hairs.  If I were to paint this again, I’d let go of the detail, keeping the painting looser, in order to capture the feeling of joy and abandon. Instead, the expression took a back seat to all of those tiny little hair highlights.

Comments on: "Lots of Layers" (94)

  1. Admirable portrait! I like how you made ​​the hair! Perfect everything. Congratulations, dear Elena. You realy deserves ! ❤ 🙂

  2. Elena, I would never have known about the tightness v the looseness but I do find it fascinating when you take us through the process. She radiates joy!

  3. Everything you do is wonderful! Great work, Elena! I loved every detail about it! Thank you for sharing your talent! 🙂

  4. No worries: the joy and intimacy and fleeting sense of time all still shine through! Can’t look at this without grinning in response. 😀

  5. Love the light on the top of her head 🙂

  6. marycheshier said:

    Reblogged this on Travels with Mary and commented:
    Amazing work.. WOW!!!!

  7. Beautiful, her expression jumps out for me, then I notice the highlights. Funny, what you the artist take note of – when people comment on my writings, they almost never remark on what seems obvious to me, and instead focus on other things I give less attention to.

    • I guess that while working in isolation, we focus on either what we are trying to say or achieve, forgetting that another may have a very different reaction to what is put before them. It’s all good:) Thank you James!

  8. You did indeed bring out the light in the hair and the details of the hair itself. And then it’s so easy to be caught by her joy. Such strong expression – even if you are not quite content with it…

  9. There is so much joy here, thanks for showing!

  10. I love all the highlights in her hair and in the background! Lovely.

  11. There’s no taking away the expansive joy in the smile of this lovely lady. My eye went directly to her smile and the radience on her face. Next, I spotted her hair which only endeared me to her as she has some charming highlights and wisps of grey. Magnificent, Elena!

  12. Elena I love your comments at the bottom of the painting that is not to say I don’t like what you painted. I think your level is so high that you can think on much more simple way while we all enjoy what we see. I always enjoy visiting and trying each time to learn something little from your great ability, thank you x

  13. The details are mindblowing!!! And I too think they add to the expression of joy! Glad i hopped over to take a peek at your brilliant work Elena 🙂

  14. I think it’s magical! 🙂 I love her expression AND her hair. Fantastic job.

  15. she is so lively! The hair is wonderful! Superb!

  16. Elena – this is incredible! The hair is amazing but that expression is worth everything.

  17. I continually struggle not to get all OCD over detail and paint looser, so know how you felt 🙂 All the same it’s a lovely piece Elena. Great sense of joy and light!

  18. I love the expression captured here, from where I am sitting I can really feel the joy and abandon in this one!

  19. I think you captured the moment perfectly – the hair is amazing!

  20. To my eyes she’s just perfect! I love her!

  21. You prove an artist is never satisfied. I don’t thing anything is lacking in this portrait, but if you do another version, I’d love to see it.

  22. Jane Thorne said:

    Elena, I think by capturing the detail of light, you capture the joy. ❤

  23. Her face is so shining with joy that I didn’t focus on the hair for quite a while, I love it!

  24. It’s great, but there’s nothing to stop you doing another version if you want to. 🙂

  25. Wow! Every one of the facial features is amazing! And the hair! I think you’re being a bit hard on yourself because it’s a winner either way, but I do understand that feeling you speak of. 🙂

  26. I love how I can just hear the sweet laughter from looking at this painting 🙂 An image that certainly spreads the joy.

  27. you’re too critical. I love it and see her joy and abandon!

    • I begin with a pre conceived notion, and the end work does not always match. You know-same in all the arts. But I’m very glad it works for you. Thanks Carol!

  28. mothcaterpillar said:

    what hair??? the only thing I can see is the smile 🙂 and the only thing I would like to do is smile 🙂 just smile 🙂

  29. I think that smile outshines everything, Elena! Gorgeousness.

    The delicate highlights just add to the feeling; sun, summer, freedom, humidity…! 🙂
    Brilliant, Radiant.

  30. Elena, I think you are right, the highlighted details in the hair seem a bit too much prominent and grabbing considerable part of attention and yet, when I saw the painting, her expression was what captured my attention immediately and overwhelmingly. She is just gorgeous! 🙂

  31. Ah, Elena, her expression is so strong that the detail [I’m afraid as it’s so good!] comes second! 🙂 Beautiful work!

  32. this is so …caravelaish !!

  33. Wait! Her hair, too, IS joyful and expressive–no back seat for facial expression, just another feature on the girl that’s got us all smiling.

  34. It looks perfect to me. She looks so alive, happiness coming through her pores.

  35. I think it’s absolutely perfect just the way it is. Perfecteration.

  36. Since you pointed it out, I focused on that. However, I think the wild obstinate, other colored hair went along with the joy and freedom of expression of the subject. They also match the light both literal and aura of the subject. I might feel a wee tinge of anger at the wish to change it at all hahaha-silly meeeeee.

  37. Oh wow Elena, seriously now this is just fantastic. Your ability to capture the human spirit is incredible – she is totally relaxed as her smile, eyes and relaxed facial muscles show, use of light perfect – shining on her face and hair, and her hair is incredible for its fullness and textured peppered with awesome color dynamics.

  38. I understand what you are saying, Elena, but I was drawn to her expression first, and then I thought the hair was amazing! It’s an awesome piece! 🙂

  39. OMG! This is an amazing work of art Elena! exquisite

  40. If this one kept an expression taken a back, I wonder what would happen
    with the full expression —– may be the canvas would start to rattle ? 😀

  41. That happens to me too Elena, sometimes you just keep working and afterwards is when you realize you developed too much details. In any case it´s very well done, and I´m one who thinks that in order to express more with less, you must dominate the technique. ; )

  42. The eye does get drawn to the hair (brilliantly done!), but like Dona said, its frames the expression. Great work!

  43. I like the hair detail….. 🙂

  44. She looks so alive!Amazing hair,everything fabulous!! 🙂

  45. I think the hair highlights her expression

  46. I think its very beautiful and expressive.
    As you are the artist though, I understand your feeling for a looser painting.
    I enjoy your style very much 🙂

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