Done at Patris’ Studio. 3-hour pose by this young woman, a teenager. But as always I tend to make young people look much older. Limited palette, Zorn – ivory black, cadmium red, yellow ochre and titanium white.

Work in progress paintings are featured on my Facebook fan page, MarleneLeeArt.

Abby @ Patris 121415
Abby, oil on linen panel, 10 x 8 inches

Oil on “Mylar”

An artist friend gave me a sheet of “mylar” to try. There’s another name for it – duomar or something like that. He had toned it with burnt sienna, otherwise it was usually clear. It’s slick to work with so I had to make sure one brushstroke at a time. Interesting effect. Maybe I’ll work more with it.

Sri, oil on “mylar”, 10 x 12 inches


I started back to a drop-in session for the long pose. Still following the Zorn palette of titanium white, ivory black, yellow ochre and cadmium red.


Burnt Umber Underpainting for Color

In WattsAtelierOnline, I’m now in a series of videos introducing four methods of painting the portrait in color. This is the first method – Burnt umber underpainting with color.

First, a detailed pencil drawing is done. It is sprayed with workable fixative so that the pencil won’t smear when oil is applied.
Burnt Umber Color drawing Marlene Lee

Then just using only burnt umber and Gamsol, I create a value study. I used various items to remove lighten the value – cotton swab, rags, fingers, kneaded eraser. This took about 4 hours to do.
Burnt Umber underpainting Marlene Lee

The burnt umber pick out becomes an underpainting for the color painting. I still use the Zorn palette of ivory black, titanium white, yellow ochre and cadmium red light. Another 3 to 4 hours were spend on the color painting.
Burnt Umber Underpainting with Color Marlene lee

This method is great for portrait commission.

Watts had set up his palette for the 9 values of each color – grey, yellow, red, green and purple. I had not been working with the 9 values setup but only three values for the light and two values for the shadow. To extend the life of his paints, he uses clove oil. I’ve been using walnut oil and seems to working for me…but one I’ll buy the clove oil.