Leslie Tribolet lives on Kauai with her husband and her animals. She studied at Santa Barbara Art Institute back in the 70’s, but with pencil as her medium of choice. During her battle with both cervical and breast cancer, she decided to try to learn how to paint for something to do. She dabbled in watercolors and loved them, but seemed that everyone on Kauai was painting with watercolors, and that she found to be boring…..
She was introduced to the Genesis Heat Set Paints in 2007, and loved it because of the ease of finishing her work quickly, without having to wait for the paint to dry and it was “different”. These paints are dried with heat, (heat gun or an oven) which speeds up the process and it is great, especially with living in the humid air of Hawaii. She has always been drawn to ethnic faces, so she decided to try her hand at painting them with these paints, and it worked. She hopes that you enjoy looking at them as much as she enjoys painting them.
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Painting with Genesis Heat Set Paints – African Child
This is a painting that I did a long time ago, but it is still good to show the progression of the painting, as I fortunately took photos!
In this first photo, I have laid out the boy with the trick of using carbon papers underneath a black and white copy of his photo. After I do that to get my proportions right, I take a brownish color (doesn’t really matter which) and make a thin paint mixture with some mineral spirits and go over all the carbon lines. If you don’t do that, when you do the background as I have here, all those lines will be wiped off. So, do that first and dry it good with the heat gun before going any further. Once dry, I actually take a paper towel and put some mineral spirits on it and clean off all the carbon ink that will lift off at this point.
To get this particular background, I have made a brown color and thinned it slightly with some spirits. I spread it around on a glass palette and then with a clean, wet but squeezed out sponge, I dip it in the paint and just put spots of paint all over the canvas until I like what I see. Easy, not spectacular, but easy.
The next photo shows the boy coming to life. I have put probably about 3 layers of paint on his face drying between each layer. Being that eyes are my favorite things to paint, I have done his eyeballs which is fun. I am hoping that anyone reading this already knows that it is a must to put a reflection in they eyes or you are going to have a dead person staring at you!
I wish I had the photo that I used to paint from, but I do not…sorry. So if you are wanting to try to paint him, just paint what you see here. I am obviously looking at the highlights on his face coming from the right side, or his left. It is very important that you pick your light source and stick with it. You don’t want to have it coming from the right and then have something all lit up on the left…. You will have some reflective light off his chin.. This is a little different.
The boy here is just getting deeper or has more depth to him. This is only because I have gotten more paint on the canvas, probably about 3 more layers. His face is coming towards you, because his neck is dark. I have added some highs and lows to his hair which gives it more realism as well. He is still fairly flat looking, so we need to keep going.
I want to say to make sure that you keep your lines visible when you are adding those layers. It is easy to cover them up and you don’t want to lose your reference points…
This little boy had rather heavy lids, so I made them lighter trying to make them come towards me or look a little puffy. I have mixed a bunch of colors to paint him and with the ease of the Genesis Heat Set paints, I never have to worry about making too many color or mixing too much paint as it will NEVER dry!
I hate to be repetitive, but honestly, I am just getting more paint on the canvas doing more of the same here with the different colors of brown. I start to bring the nose, cheeks and eyelids towards us by adding highlights. Always remember that the whites or lighter shades will bring that area closer and the darks will make that area recede.
I have added a lot more paint to his lids here too, making them come to life. I was told a long time ago to never put black in the nostrils…well, I agree somewhat with that, but then look at someone’s nostrils! What do you see if they are large enough to see the really dark, deep areas? I see black! So, I paint what I see, so I do use black. Your choice. The color that I was told to use was a deep brown purple…hum….
Here is the fun part about doing this little boy… the white face paint! It hides all sorts of things and makes this painting a little easier than other portraits. We still have to have some light and not so light shades, but that isn’t too hard…
I have decided to make his hair sort of spikey and that isn’t hard to do either. I take a round brush and basically just put some different size dots of browns and blacks. I love painting African faces because the texture of the hair is much easier to paint and a lot more fun to be very honest.
I have started this boy’s necklace and I am already dreading it. This is going to be hard. I decide to no stress over it and do it very simply. I am sure that I could have spent a couple of hours detailing every bead with highs and lows, but honestly, just didn’t want to!! Grins….
Here is the photo of the painting when I decided to finish it. You can see that I have added a lot of dark shadows and it has made him so much richer. His lips have color, with highlights on his lower lip as that is where the light is going to hit it. There is also light on his upper lip which makes it seem like it is coming toward you – creases dark for the opposite effect of receding.
This little boy really wasn’t very hard to paint and was a lot of fun. I am delighted to say that he was sold rather quickly at a gallery where I took him. If anyone would like to try to paint him, print out these pages and then e-mail me if you need any help. I love helping people…as long as they are using my beloved Genesis Paints that is! Lost with oils…acrylics just dry too fast and too much waste! Hope you enjoyed this painting with Genesis Heat Set Paints demonstration.