OIL PAINTING (15″x12″) of Anne (Amybeth McNulty). Work in progress shots. This portrait was specially created for the talented young actress @amybethmcnulty … she passionately brings to life Anne in the magnificent Netflix series Anne with an E, recreated from the classic book Anne of Green Gables.

Step by Step procedure

Firstly, my awareness was on developing a unity with Anne and the background… so an image of Green Gables as the background added the story of how she first arrived at her new home. The image of Mathew and Anne in the horse and cart really leads the eye from Anne towards Green Gables… this added depth and an emotional connection. The main image of Anne was a snap shot from the scene of her waiting for Mathew at the train station. I had all the elements I needed to make it work, next was to arrange them into Photoshop elements. Amybeth wanted a suprise has to what background would be created, so I decide to accept this approach, now it was time to draw in the compostion onto the canvas.

Preparing the canvas

I always prepare my canvas before painting. An extra coat of Acrylic primers is add first then the last coat being Oil Primer, toned a light to medium grey, this added a tone takes away the brightness of a white canvas. I use Ivory black and Tinanimum white for this.

Background First

I tend to like to paint the background in first as this helps with getting the colour and values correct before starting painting in Anne. The Medium I used for this portrait was a slow drying one…. Walnut Gel. It is alot more vibrant then Liquin. My colour palette is always a simple one… the  three primaries Red, Yellow and Blue (warm and Colds) along with a few eath colours.

Connectiong to the muse

While I paint I tend to relax and keep my mind out of the way… observing the painting develop. All my focus is on the energy of the subject, not the details. It’s an amazing feeling letting go and allowing the muse to take over.

Difference between layers

The first layer always lack the correct colour and density… it’s all about getting the ‘feel’ right. I tend not to worry about getting everything correct, as the second and third layers of colour are the most important ones regarding this. My motto is ‘persevere’ it will will all shape up in the end.

I sent a sample image to Amybeth, which thankfully she loved.  So after it was dry enough for a tempory varnish to be applied, I package it up and shipped the portrait to its new home in Ireland.