Slide Show: Store-Window Madonna

Stage 1

The background has been lightly scumbled in, and the artist has begun to sketch the figure’s necklace. Although the head is still in a preliminary stage, it is already acquiring a finished look and a metallic texture. This is a very exciting beginning: the mannequin has an abstract appearance, with echoes of Picasso.

Stage 2

The artist has filled in the figure’s body and clothing, and has begun to build up the details of the head. Notice how the necklace and neck have darkened: the artist progressively adds highlights and darkens the darks to achieve the layered look that he seeks. The challenge is to enhance the realism without sacrificing the interesting abstract quality of Stage 1.

Stage 3

The artist has considerably refined the background; it is probably finished. He continues to refine on the head, which has almost achieved its finished state.

Stage 4

In this final stage the artist has reworked the entire piece. He has refined the background still more. Considerable work has gone into the head: he has darkened it overall, softened the highlights, and smoothed the transitions from light to dark. The result is a soft and subtle effect that still manages to look metallic. The artist has also considerably refined the clothing, adding the straps and doing a great deal of very delicate work on the lace. The finishing touch is the addition of white highlights on the straps and shoulder to create the effect of reflected light. Click here to view the finished piece.

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