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Elijah's Football Portrait: The Process

Here is Elijah's football portrait after 4 days of work.  I still have a few details to add once it's dry enough to touch up and sign, but for the most part its finished. Here is how it progressed from the underpainting. If you're not used to seeing a work in progress (WIP) then this stage of painting may look bizarre to you. I start with the darkest shadow tones of the skin, then the middle or half-tones and finally the lightest skin tones.  I blend with a mongoose brush and then begin adding the details of the face to capture the likeness.  I must say I agree with John Singer Sargent's famous words, "A portrait is a painting with...

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Day 2: An Athlete's Football Portrait

I was up early again this morning and was able to complete the underpainting on Elijah’s football portrait. Underpainting is a low-key version of the final painting. This method of using a brown or gray monochrome underpainting is also called a grisalle, which was used by the Renaissance artists. It may seem odd to do an underpainting that I’m going to paint over, why not start with full color? You can think of it as a blueprint of the final version of the painting and it serves several purposes: 1. It fixes the main compositional elements.2. It serves as a tonal guide to the subsequent application of color.3. It allows me to paint with thin paint, particularly in the shadows...

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Creating Art to the Glory of God, Part I

  Some churches are experiencing a renaissance of the arts and are beginning to incorporate live painting, sculpture, spoken word, drama, and other forms of art into their worship services. Some even have art galleries in their buildings. It’s exciting because our tribe is waking up to this as well. I use the word renaissance because we must have a rebirth, a returning to the arts in worship. After the Protestant Reformation we threw the baby out with the bath water and there was a great deal of hostility and skepticism towards religious art. This was especially true for paintings and sculptures; even plain crosses were suspicious because they could be seen as idolatrous. When I was a little girl...

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Be Vulnerable, Be Risky, Be Courageous in Your Creativity!

In childhood we all had the instinct to create and we did it without shame or embarrassment or any restrictions placed on ourselves. Children are amazing little artists, they draw, paint, sing, dance, sculpt, act and create using whatever is available to them. They create with pride and bring it to you to stick on the fridge with a magnet. And they do it over and over until those of us who don’t like to throw anything away have shoeboxes and closets full of our children’s art they made for us. If you go into a preschool classroom and say, “Who in here is an artist?” Every one of them will raise their hands. But somewhere along the way, the...

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