Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Girl in a Dress: Day 3

Photo 09-07-2014 13 31 58Day 3 of painting was full of little tweaks on the dress and hands, and the long, slow slog of painting stone. Stone slabs have to look flat, be in perspective, and still be interesting. I painted a matrix of grey so that each stone had a ghostly surface through which the background showed in cracks and patches. I then filled in most of the cracks with colour. The sides towards the light were highlighted and the sides in shadow were darkened in tone. Where the stones were irregular, the grey already had a drift or a painted crack here and there.

I painted over the hands a couple of times, because the post-toddler hands of the model were not appropriate to the style of painting and dress, and I wanted to use some of the same tricks as old portrait painters. Thus, her hands ended up with elongated fingers and her eyes were made larger than the original. Once I finished the last alterations to the figure, I filled in the mortar, and that was most of what I did for the day. Unfortunately, the slow progress of the day meant leaving the picture halfway.