Art Progression: Queens of Light – Mary

Finally I have a ‘live’ and in-progress art project to share with you!

The first project for 2017 will be a series of portraits titled “Queens of Light”, named for the type of women I will be painting. I believe that the art I make needs to be a reflection of myself and who I am and being a passionate Christian, I believe that this series will reflect quite strongly that part of me.

“Queens of Light” is a series of portraits depicting inspiring women from the bible and (as the series progresses) equally inspiring women from everyday life.

To start my series I have been focusing on Mary. Virgin Mary, Mother Mary. The woman who delivered the man who would deliver us all. She showed faith, wisdom and grace well beyond her years. After just having reflected on the Christmas season this past holiday, my thoughts still dwelled on her quiet beauty and I decided that she would be the leading light to my art series.

To paint this series I will be using models to portray the women I have chosen for the series. These models are everyday women, not professional supermodels or celebrity look-a-likes. They are real and everyday women and each has been chosen to portray a specific character from the bible based on their own countenance and how they carry themselves. I have not chosen them merely for looks (although they are all beautiful).


For painting Mother Mary, I asked a friend of mine who I have known for years. She is a strong, faithful and down-to-earth woman who is a mother herself (another reason I chose her to portray Mary) to two boys, who just happen to be the cutest kids to have ever lived. This past week I asked if she would be ‘my’ Mother Mary and thank fully she agreed. Friday morning, bright and early she came to my home and posed for the pictures I will use as reference.


Oh and this beautiful woman is Kerry.


I started painting this morning and this is where I am at present.

You can see a fine outline of the shape of Mary and the basics – where her eyeballs are, nose and lip line. These act as my guideline, details are added as I paint and get formed as I go – so they never start out looking pretty. Oh and the messy coat of ochre is a light base coat.
Here I’ve added a white base coat. In case you hadn’t guessed yet, I paint in layers. A LOT of layers.
Background. More detailed to be added at the end.
and here I started adding the next section of white base coat. And on the left you can see my reference image.

I’ll be sharing the final product and the rest of my progress images next week. Please let me know what you think in the comments below. AND I’ll be doing a few charcoal sketches for this art series too. Whoop.


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