Nov 2011

Acrylic Portrait of S. Claus


Portrait of S. Claus 8X10” Acrylic on hardboard

This seasonal, little portrait of Santa Claus, was painted in acrylics as my contribution to the Brigantine Gallery’s upcoming Hospitality Day event. Although based on a full figure sketchbook drawing, my goal was to create a painting that would recall a sketchy portrait rendering, so I kept the composition just head and hand. The tone, and subtle textured look of unpainted hardboard works well as a stand in for an unprimed canvas surface, but gives me the solid surface I prefer to paint on.

The following in progress shots give an overview of some of the the steps involved.


Initial pencil on board set with spray fixative.


I begin to establish some dark tone.


Some local color is washed over the the surface.


I add a dark background indication that will allow me to play up the side light on the face.


I re-establish some darker tone and add more color. The basic image is fairly well established. From this point on I continue to refine the color and tone to completion.