The African Wrapper, 14" x 10", Oil on Canvas (The Painting Process)

Adebanji Alade African Influence African Wrapper Feminine figurative Ghanian Nigerian oil oil on canvas people Rosemary Brushes studio space

This piece is one from my series which celebrates African Fashion, with the focus on the African Wrapper.

The African Wrapper I, Oil on Canvas, 1, 2013

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I get really inspired by the colours and designs of African Fabric and the way the garments are worn, when it comes to the wrapper, it is tied in different ways. In this particular piece the model is in the process of tying it. I decided to play the light effects to mainly reveal the textures on the material used for the wrapper.

Stage 1-Taken under tungsten light, it's a bit yellow. But it shows the beginning of the process. This is one of the paintings I approach with the Outside-In Technique. I start with broad washes of lean colour with lots of solvent. I also draw with fluid paint with lots of calligraphic strokes.

I started by working on this piece with light lean washes of oil with plenty of turps, then  towards the end, I introduced more juicy rich strokes of heavy impasto to reveal textures on the wrapper.

Stage 2- A clearer picture of it with lots of drawing and sketch marks. The drawing is corrected as the process continues. There's no real thick colour at this stage.

Stage 3- Here I begin to introduce, thicker colour, you can see the difference on the top right hand corner of where the thick is laid over the thin washes. I thought I was going to leave the washes in some areas but as the process continued, I changed my mind and decided to have it all covered. I'm not sure whether it was a good decision but I feel it was the best for me at the time.
Stage 4- At this stage I feel I have completed the process. I work on the background with thick solid strokes and I also add details to the face and more textures to the wrapper.
"The painting process goes backward and forward, cancel and counter, scrape and add, decision and indecision, sweat and blood, courage and fear.....and these things seldom show up in the completed piece...phew! -Adebanji Alade

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