This is a another guy in my series of the "Face of Homelessness"- meeting Steve and getting to know his story of how he was homeless and has now been able to get accommodation is a very uplifting one!
He sells the Big Issue at Sloane Square and I have sketched him on a number of occasions.
In this painting, I wanted to capture to look in his eyes. It's the main thing that brings out his character as a very genuine chap. As with the other posts in this series, I have worked with The Zorn Palette-which consists of Titanium White, Yellow Orche, Cadmium Red and Ivory Black.
I have worked on this piece in one sitting in Alla Prima and I took some stage shots during the process. These stage shots are definitely not a step by step process but they are just stages at which the painting developed.
It was hard getting the right colours of this painting with my camera and if I am able to get a better picture a later date, I will surely adjust the one below.
The Face of Homelessness Sloane Square, Oil on board, 12" x 16", 2012
Sketch of Steve
Adebanji sketching Steve
Steve with the sketch
Stage 1- Here I have toned the canvas with a light mixture of yellow orche and black, and I do a bit of plotting lines to help with the positioning of the portrait. The canvas has been divided into four parts with diagonals in each rectangle.
Stage 2- I start the sketch with the swift use of a mongoose brush dipped into paint and Liquin to help it dry fast. All those sketchy arrows just show the direction I'll be painting the background strokes in, to lead the viewers eye into the centre of interest-"his eyes"
Stage 3- Here I start using the shape by shapemethod of "inside out"-starting from one place inside the face and gradually moving out.
Stage 4- The face was almost complete at this stage and I began to have a sense of the whole piece at this stage
Stage 5- With the face completed, I gradually move to the background to see how it works with the face and I'm quite pleased.
Stage 6-I continue with the background on the left following the directions, I had plotted earlier in the preliminary sketch
Stage 7- This is the final stage where I take stock, I think I got a bit of the anatomy wrong on the right side of his cheek, but after a few struggles which remained unresolved, I had to leave it to a later date.
SPECIAL QUOTE "Very early in life, I fell in love with the landscape of the human face, where all the emotional states of life are to be found, and that affair has not faltered"-Burton Silverman