Blue Eyed Duckling (8 x 10) $175

Blue Eyed Duckling (8 x 10) $100

It seems a good omen to begin my painting blog with a portrait of a child–particularly since she is a child who wants to be an artist. She is beautiful and funny looking by turns. But I have no doubt she will be beautiful in the end. Her cheek bones say it all.

I did this painting Friday at Art in Valley (Corvallis, Oregon) a cooperative gallery of which I am a member. Painting while working at the gallery is fun but tricky. The comments of patrons are fun. Making sure I can stop at any moment without wrecking the painting is difficult. So is working as neat as the gallery environment requires.

But this young girl has such a distinctive expressive face that the painting just fell together. Another good omen for a beginning blog.

I find I use more pigments for skin than I ever would have believed possible. Her skin is cadmium yellow and madder red on the sunlit side and cadmium yellow and alizarin crimson on the shadowed side. Cobalt blue helps define her eye sockets. The edges of her shadowed cheeks have a hint of yellow ocher. There are hints of burnt sienna at the hairline. Her hair is yellow ocher, burnt sienna, and more cadmium yellow.

The blues and blue grays are mixed from the skin and hair palette. Mixing the background from the main palette often leads to good lively grays that set off the subject. I think it worked this time too.

Like most of the paintings I will add to this blog, The Blue Eyed Duckling is for sale. Prices posted on this blog will be lower than those for my paintings elsewhere on the web because I do not have to pay a commission here.


Purchase a reproduction of this painting here.

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