Grey. Three Kinds

'Fergus'. Oil portrait on linen, life size. 2016 by Helen Davison

‘Fergus’. Oil portrait on linen, life size.

Here is a recent life size portrait where I used a slightly smaller canvas than usual because I wanted the focus to be much more about just the head and shoulders. As the painting progressed I wasn’t sure if there was too much grey, so I made an effort to make each one different in temperature so that the background, scarf, and t-shirt were related but subtly distinct from each other.

In the end I liked the result and feel that the flesh tones make a good counterpoint. Still, it’s something to give a little more consideration to at the outset. Sometimes though, the model is wearing what they’re wearing and you just get on with it.