Since this Project is largely about trying to achieve consistency, the painting and it's process I describe here follows closely with that of my previous painting.
This consistency is something I didn't give too much attention to before, just painting as the mood took me. But now, it is what drives me. I want to be able to produce as high a quality standard as I can with each painting I do, and therefore repetition of approach, materials, colours, and painting style is the way I intend to achieve it.
This first pencil study takes my original sketch (from A6 Sketchbook 1) and increases the scale primarily as an exercise in drawing and loosening the wrist:
Pencil on paper, A4.
Question: Does she fly?
Like a fairy!
It's looking good to me!
OK, so I can draw the figure again and now I am on my way, but before I get too far ahead of myself in this process I need to give some consideration to how it might look with darks and lights, so I make this small Value Study:
Pencil on paper, A4.
I employ the same formula here as before - dark upper background to contrast with the ballerina, and lighter lower background from which she springs.
Following these initial pencil studies I move on to Neocolour pastel studies.
This next photograph shows an A4, and an A3 Colour Study alongside the original sketch in A6 Sketchbook, all clipped onto the workboard adjacent to my easel for reference:
Neocolour pastels on paper, A3 and A4.
The two studies here are very similar because I have a very firm idea as to how this painting will look and I am just reinforcing the concept in my mind. The principal issue I think about is whether to show more of the supporting male dancer. I decide I like the fact that you can hardly see him, just one outstretched hand and his legs. Well, she is supposed to be flying like a fairy un-assisted through the air!
Since I established in the last painting exactly the way in which I was going to paint this next one I go straight to a fresh board and, having mixed the colours I intend to use, get started by painting the ballerina with large paint-loaded brushes, without any preliminary drawing:
Oils on board, 36.5x61xm.
This is where I come a little unstuck. On my first pass at this I am unhappy with the colour of the ballerina's upper legs - they are painted far too strongly a bright orange. So I scrape it off and cool it down with a light green to describe the shadow under her tutu. But I'm still not happy with this element, as well as the length of her trailing arm, and her poor hand. Rather than scrape off again I challenge myself to paint the whole thing once more, just to see if I can do it:
Oils on board, 36.5x61cm.
This is better. The differences may be subtle butfor me more satisfying - I have got better colouring on the ballerina's upper legs and have shortened her trailing arm to a better proportion, and also painted the hands of both figures much more satisfactorily.
To finish with I am very happy I have managed to paint a second painting in as close a manner to the first making them a fine pair to be shown together.
I need to keep this momentum going.