Got two more ceiling medallions up this week – the long-awaited Thomas Jefferson for American history and Gen. George C. Marshall for military history.
I decided to do both at once since they are side by side, and I felt like I had gotten better at getting better images to work from. What I've learned the last few is that I need to plan on four shades, with most of the face being the lightest. To get the right model, I usually have to brighten or darken the image so the contrast looks right, and then "posterize" the image for four shades, going back to the light/dark settings till I have the kind of image I think I can paint. This was especially necessary for the Jefferson medallion, since I really wanted to use a particular Rembrandt Peale portrait, and it was very difficult to get it to resolve into normal patterns of light and shadow.
Oddly, the Jefferson came out pretty well, while the Marshall is pretty bad. With the cove lighting on, it looks way more like Eisenhower! But a man in a suit is a hard image to get right to start with when you have no artistic background, and the textured ceiling is not helping.
But I am glad to now have all four of the history stacks covered – world, American, military and naval. The south wall now has five of nine, the west wall two of four, and the east wall, still just one of eight.
(Complete coincidence it's Marshall and Jefferson – I just got that).