Friday, May 14, 2010

"Venus of the Doves" 8"x10"

Oil on 8"x10" hardboard panel

Since this painting was a challenge for me, I thought using only one color and white would make it a bit easier for me... HA!
I used raw umber thinned with some turpentine to do the first sketchy stage. Then, I started mixing the raw umber with white as I worked in more detail. I found out that there really weren't any details to be drawn.. just value changes, and shapes. I also found out that when you add white to raw umber, it's like adding cream to coffee, the color changes so much! It's so much cooler, and grayer. I liked the warmer version of the under painting. I tried to leave that showing through in spots. I was doing ok, until I started working on Venus's face. It's all in shadow, and it took many tries and many messes to wipe out, but the second it looked right, I stopped and left it be. When I look at it now, I think her face is a bit too dark... but I'm not touching it!!!!

I would have liked this painting to be more colorful.. with some pretty rosy browns and cooler blues and grays, etc. but, it's good for a first try. I actually did add some alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue to the raw umber to get a darker color for the background.
My favorite part is the little angel holding and kissing her hand.
Thank you everyone for your generous comments! I appreciate them all so much!


  1. This is lovely, and even through the monitor I can see the hints of crimson and blue in the background- subtle and rich.

  2. I cannot believe you've finished this piece already. It's really, really good. Since you really like the little angle kissing her hand perhaps you'll do a larger piece of just that portion. Hmmm!

  3. Thank You Judy,
    Carol, now that you mention it, I did take a close up picture of just that portion of the statue, that's a good idea.

  4. This is absolutely beautiful. I love how the softness of the painting style echoes the tenderness of the sculpture. It's a marriage made in heaven. I'm very much looking forward to following your blog and your progress!

  5. Debbie, this is such a stunning work. I would guess the original sculptor would be pleased to see what you've done with his piece as your subject. I find myself wanting to touch this piece, to feel that cool yet warm marble...Beautiful job!

  6. Such a beautiful painting, it is somehow more powerful painted with such a limited palette, love it.

  7. YEs the limited palette created and aura that is well pleasing.
    I love that detail too of the kissing and and would love to see it bigger also.

  8. A lovely work of art, Debbie! I love grissaile painting and has recently painted some 3-D leaves in tones of gray on a bathroom cabinet for somebody.

  9. J'adore ce tableau ! Magnifique !


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