Saturday, June 15, 2013

Master Copy of Jeremy Lipking's Danielle in Kimono

Danielle in Kimono, Jeremy Lipking

I've been following the work of Jeremy Lipking for a while and have become a big fan, so it was due time to create a master copy of his paintings. Danielle in Kimono seemed just right because it gives a nice challenge to try and learn his handling of flesh tones, edges and drapery.

Here are the steps, some notes on the challenges and the final result. In conclusion, the guy is an accomplished master, and there's lots more to learn before reaching his level, but still, an honest amateur attempt, and lots of stuff learned in the process.

The main drawing felt relatively easy, although as you see later, I made critical mistakes regarding the width of the head, the position of the chin, and the jawline :0( the lesson here is to spend more time measuring and get it right in the beginning stages.  The underpainting color was easy to choose, because Lipking's characteristic style is to leave large patches of it showing through in the final work.  

Here we start to have a go at some of the flesh tones, but to achieve the degree of realism that he has, it's necessary to navigate an extremely narrow band of values and color temperature, so this will be a mission-long struggle.

Here you see both the flesh tones and the background color varying wildly.  The reason is I'm using a photo on my computer as my original, and the ambient light around me keeps changing.  Sometimes the background looks to orange compared to my original, sometimes it looks to purple. So I have to decide for a color harmony and just stick to it, which I finally manage to do, as you see later.

The picture at the beginning of this series has fairly solid flesh tones on the face, and the one at the end is very patchy.  The reason is I was happy with the result at first, at least color-wise, but I realized that the paint was very thin and not satisfying in terms of texture when looking at it up close, so I painted over with thicker wet-on-wet brush strokes to try and make the painting more exciting.

Later on I will smooth things out.  I start to work also on the drapery, which is a challenge because it has slightly different dark colors and patterns that need to be just right, as well as spontaneous areas left untouched.

At this point I've nailed the ear (always a nice small victory!) and I'm working out the patterns on the Kimono.  Flesh tones are solid and the drawing has been corrected for a nicely shaped head.

And here is the final result!

Let's compare it to the original...

Some of my darks will probably become alive once I varnish and shoot the photo in better light conditions.  

Now I have a Lipking in my kitchen :0)

If you want painting lessons in Amsterdam, or drawing lessons in the academic tradition, get in touch!

Happy painting!

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