Updating a boat girl

So my first two acrylic jobs have been to do with painting red hair.

I’ve had an acrylic hanging in my boat for a couple of years, based on a life sketch I did a few years ago.

I love the picture, but I’ve always known it wasn’t quite right. The line of her back is far too hunched up. So I brought her indoors and started doing something about it (one of the beauties of acrylics and oils is that you can keep on working on them almost indefinitely.)

I’m pleased with the altered back and shoulder. She looks much more human now. I also worked a bit on her hands abs twisted her bottom around slightly.

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This all required some adjustment to her hair. The model had very red hair so I stuck with that, and thought it would be nice to make more of the hair. Much more. I got a bit carried away.

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I realised at this point that red hair is really hard to paint. For a start, it isn’t red, but it is very hard to say what it is. So I thought I would digress and do a little study of just a swatheof red hair. An old friend who has moved to New Zealand has red hair, so I copied one of her Facebook photos. Initially I was just going to do the hair, so I started with a green background, to emphasise the colour, whatever it is.

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I really liked how that looked and decided to carry on with it as a full portrait. It seemed a shame just to stop at the hair. The first portrait I have painted for many, many years and I’m very pleased with it, even though she is tiny.

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I’m still little wiser as to what colour Red hair really is, but I’ve given my boat girl even more, and I shall put her back on board later this week.

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