‘Tia’ Acrylic Painting in Progress

Last year I started a new painting in acrylics, I’ve decided to call her ‘Tia’. I’ve utilised a reference photo by Kate Hoff of a girl with an interesting pose, my initial idea was to paint the girl with a few changes here and there and with a creative swirly background. I printed out her reference and sketched my idea on paper first. One of the things I love about painting is sometimes the idea changes as you go along and it develops into something else. My initial thought was to have a lot brown tones in the background but when I was applying paint to the canvas I found I wanted more colours so just went with it.

I’ve drawn her to size on canvas panel using a projector (fabulous invention and don’t know why I didn’t invest in one sooner – if you haven’t got one get one!!). The swirls I will add by freehand later. Firstly I establish background with a couple of layers. Acrylics need several layers as the first coat is always thin and scratchy looking. I’m liking the idea of an abstract style background for the moment …


I’ve added a few more colours here (above) which I like but I continue to blend some more which you can see in the photo below.


So this is where I’ve started on her face obviously. Do you remember me saying the first layers are scratchy looking, well this is what I meant above. It doesn’t look great but it gives me a start on placement light and shadows. I always find the beginnings of a portrait somewhat hard, I was hoping that I could make this work at this stage.


More layering and blending is making it come together more. I am using Atelier Interactive Acrylic paints and Jo Sonjas acrylics. To help with blending I am using the Atelier clear painting medium.


Some more layering on her face and hair and starting to move onto other areas now. But I often am never finished an area until I’m totally finished as bits bug me and I will fiddle as I go.

More progress to come soon!

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