Shade to Light

Fine art painted by Dan Dollahon

9:37 PM

The Process

Posted by Dan Dollahon

   The process I go through for my paintings are eerily similar. For this next one I will start as I usually do with a 'vision'-in this case the idea was inspired by Isabella, a family friend who I 'saw' sitting alone in a dark Gothic-style church, deep in reverie, and backlit by a stain-glass window.
   I then took several photos and settled on these two:

Photo #1                                                                    Photo #2

    I like the dress in Photo #1 and the way her hands are holding the bible but I like her expression in Photo #2 so I will combine them in my sketch. I then found some reference pictures for stain-glass and church interiors:

   From these I will cobble together the sketch that will be the foundation for my painting....

   After several attempts at placement and scale, I settled on this image. Initially I had Isabella larger and up close. However, this did not give me the sense of being a small girl in a large church that I wanted. Here it is just her and Mary alone in a vast space. I base-coated my gessoed canvas with a gold color that will hopefully give me the "glow" that I am after. I then transferred my sketch using white carbon paper.


   This is the finished piece. The photo is a poor one as it does not give a good representation of the warmth and intensity of the colors, but you get the idea.


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