Oil Painting: Garth Herrick Portrait Demo: Blocking In the Portraits

Garth Herrick oil portrait

In the third installment of the demonstration, Herrick continues blocking in the portraits and begins to place a few notes of color on the canvas.

I was just trying to find my way with this painting—locating bigger shapes and anchoring positions and major color notes. I wanted to avoid too many spots of disparate colors—completing an idea like the boy's legs is often better and more encouraging.

The painting seemed analogous to a fiendish Sudoku puzzle! It was a tightrope walk between keeping the surface alive and vital and reining it all in to keep some color and value control. Value control was a priority when mixing these first tentative colors so that the forms begin to emerge. I added a few color notes in the background to break out of the completely monochromatic mode. I needed to start anticipating ways of placing the colors. It was part of my impatience—I wanted to wake it up somehow.

Garth Herrick oil portrait Garth Herrick oil portrait Garth Herrick oil portrait
Garth Herrick oil portrait Garth Herrick oil portrait

Check back weekly to view the next step in Herrick's process. To view the demonstration from the beginning, CLICK HERE.

Watch a studio interview with Herrick.

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About the Artist
Garth Herrick was a semifinalist in the Smithsonian Institution’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and was awarded a certificate of excellence by the Portrait Society of America at their 2006 International Portrait Competition. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he received the William Emlen Cresson Memorial Traveling Scholarship, the Stewardson Prize, and the Thouron Prize. Herrick’s commissions include portraits of eight notable federal judges, a governor, a mayor and numerous cultural, educational, and business leaders. His work hangs in a number of public, corporate, and private collections. View his work at www.garthherrick.com.

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