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Afrikanisches Lichtspiel

Updated: May 1


I recently spotted a beautiful b/w photo by Nigerian photographer Rukie Jumah on Instagram and decided to use the motif for my next portrait. I'm actually trying to make my motifs more abstract since I have started using the alla prima technique in oil paint. However, this motif with the woven straw hat might be a little difficult.

Canvas primed in 50/50 cm format

I want to support the warm summer mood of the motif with a color concept based on blue-green and gold tones. To match this color concept, I primed the canvas in a medium shade of turquoise. I then roughly define the lighter and darker areas of the painting with a broad brush and liquid paint. I then use the palette knife to apply the first areas of color in golden yellow for the face and in light orange concentric circles for the brim of the sun hat.

I wasn't sure how to paint the hat weave, which makes up a large part of the painting, until the very end. Painting such subtle details is not really my thing. I prefer to paint with a broad brush and a generous brushstroke. However, I didn't have a brilliant idea of how to abstract the straw weave and finally painted this whole part of the painting with a 1 cm narrow brush in about 12 passes. This took me quite a bit of time and effort.

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