My commitment to the  weekly Paintworks Challenge forces me to do things I don’t want to do.  Portraits are always difficult and I often feel I don’t have the focus or energy to tackle it.

Oil Portrait of Abraham Lincoln, 5" x 8"

This week’s challenge is to paint a portrait of Lincoln (photograph supplied) using only Titanium White, French Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber.  I decided to stick with a five step value range.  Though I seldom pre-mix my colors, I squeezed out a large amount of Titanium White, then mixed four values of paint using more blue than umber and another four, similar values using more umber than blue.  The result was eight mixtures (four warm, four cool) plus white.

I think I could have used far more of the cool mixes on the face, especially because the background is so cool.  Though I began using cool mixes for the eye sockets and the shadow side of the face, it looks as if I warmed them up as I labored over the painting.

What a great exercise!

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