Thursday, August 13, 2009

The American Past Time

Oil on Canvas, 16 x 20 By Dana R. Frech

Recently Dana recieved a commission to do a portrait painting but this time the portrait did not include a face. Instead, the painting was of a young man we attend school with. His girlfriend asked Dana to do this particular pose. The ironic thing about this photo she asked us to work from was that Dana had tooken the photo herself! The girlfriend had found it on! Which is always nice because we do not like working from photos by others.

So anyhow, Dana accepted the job and the results have recieved a lot of praise and rave reviews. In my opinion this is by far her best work! I absolutely love it. So, in this blog we're going to show how she made the piece.

As with all her paintings, in the beginning, Dana will do a light contour sketch to mark out positioning. Once she has the whole picture drawn out, she will then put a layer of acrylic burnt sienna over the entire canvas -- to help identify the value scale.

Once she has the value scale in place, she will begin a slow process of glazing thin layers of pait. She prefers the glazing method because it is better for achieving depht. The first layer of color is in a pure form and is not mixed.

At this point, she will start working on a chunk of the painting. The helmet goes first and after just one sitting it looks almost done but it will be awhile until she considers it finished. Then she moves to the jersey and and flesh tones.

If you look at the neck you notice the flesh colors and then a 'black' like color next to them. Those 'black' colors will serve only as the shadow from the bat, but the 'black' is not black it is a dark cool colored flesh tone that helps to keep the unity of the skin on the neck.

The next phase after tackling the body is the background where she will work on the figures on the field and signs in the outfield. Now, on the photos below you'll see her with two photos: one is in her hand and the other is above it. The one above is a "to scale" photo that is the same size as the painting. The photo above however has a horrible color quality and only aids her in determining size - much like the sight-size method. The one in her hand is for achieving the best color quality.

After many days of going over the painting with various details, Dana will then put the finishing touches on the helmet. The helmet is absolutlely stunning with fine details from the American Flag to the sticker residue - it is all there! The people who ordered it were very happy to take it home.


  1. Very nice work Dana! I am looking forward to see what you will be doing next.


  2. I like you new blog. Easier to follow than facebook:) Please put up some more of your art work. It's so pretty to see.