The Face of Homelessness, Bath

alla prima big issue seller FACE OF HOMELESSNESS homeless oil on board The Anders Zorn Palette

Face of Homelessness, Bath, Oil on Board, 12" x 12", 2012
This post mainly features on my keen interest in depicting interesting faces. All year I have been working on this project of homeless peoples faces and I'll be sharing the ideas behind this and sometimes where I can, I'll document some stage by stage thoughts that go through my head while working on them.

Same Model- sat for me for my Big Issue Series 9

I meet these people while commuting or walking down the street. I'm always armed with my sketchbook and  pencils and my camera, if they allow me a photograph or two. Once I fall in love with a face, that's it! I'll just find every way possible to convince them I need to draw, sketch or paint them.  We get talking and share some of our interests while the sketching or photographing goes on. This particular guy I painted here is called Rodney, I met him in Bath.
That's Him with the Big Issue Sketch
For the whole of this project I adopted the Zorn Palette, which consists of 4 colours. Titanium White, Cadmium Red, Yellow Orche and Ivory Black. These three colours are basically used as 3 primaries. The Cadmium Red is RED, The Yellow Orche is YELLOW, while the Black acts as the BLUE. Once I have this thought it mind, it's easy to mix secondaries and even tertiary colours.

STAGE 1-The Sketch is done in conte, I used 2 colours sepia and black-the sketch is not that accurate but it givers a sense of the  proportion and composition of the head on the square surface.
STAGE 2-The method I embark on here is called-"Inside Out"- Where I just start from a particular place INSIDE the face, this time it was with one of the eyes. From that point I just paint shape by shape till I get to all the OUTSIDE features. So its starting from the INSIDE and moving to the OUTSIDE.
STAGE 3-I plan to move upwards and here I  have almost covered the whole surface here, introducing a dark background to  bring out his  light toned  face.
STAGE 4-Here I start moving downwards, trying my best to adjust errors as I go along. This method demands full concentration and good drawing skills but the slower one goes the better.

STAGE 5-At this stage I have only one shape left and that's why this method is quite exciting as one is able to  watch the picture come to life from little brush stroke applications,
STAGE 6-Finally I have all the surface covered and it's all done wet  on wet , with  no underpainting. 
I really love weathered faces, faces that have seen life, I love the faces that tell stories and while talking to these guys, it's always a great opportunity to listen to what they have been through!


"One is never fully satisfied with the portrait of a person one knows"-Johann Wolfang Von Goethe

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