Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Portrait of A. – background

Gridded pencil drawing of a woman, with a painted backgroundThe gridded portrait was quick enough that I could get started on the background in the same day as I began the tonal sketch. I decided to go with the same lighting as in the train, and to lie about where the walls were. There was a window behind A. in the photos, and she had a chair back which was a good, deep blue, but both of those would have cluttered the picture, so I extended the walls through the space that both of them had taken up. I will have to sort out the sunbeam that hits the wall on the right, which will probably be by lightening up the top right corner, but could be by darkening the sunbeam. I want her hair to stand out, but as it is so very dark, it probably will.

The wall recedes as it goes to the right, which means the shadow that the skull mass is casting shouldn’t be there, but if the shadow isn’t there, we don’t have a counterbalance to the light, so the wall can’t recede… That’s a problem I’ll have to solve for myself. It might get the chair put back in, it might get the lighting changed, and I’ll likely mess about with it a lot more. A’s hair stands out against the mid grey, but not entirely against the darkest shadows. Her jacket is a very dark blue, which isn’t really going to help, as it’s the same problem as the hair, and they will blend into each other, both as a tonal shape, and as a physical problem of blending.