Wednesday, August 23, 2006

painting portraits

This posting is a real gamble for me. It means I must commit to following through to completion and I must try to make progress in a logical order. I don't do well with either one on large paintings. I struggle, scrape, wipe off, fiddle with details, change background colors, draw, re-draw and hopefully end up with a painting. This time I am hoping my daily painting practice has built in some better habits.

This will be a 36"x36" oil portrait of my daughter and her husband. I am drawing in charcoal. It is easy to make changes with charcoal and it allows you to build up the values slowly.
This portrait will be done from photographs I have taken. We went through 3 separate photo sessions before finding the right setting, pose and composition.
I work from a computer screen for the most part. I can zoom in and around the photo, change it to black and white even edit. Amazing technology. But in the end it is the painting that I concentrate on. I try not to copy every wrinkle or every detail in the photo. It is a great tool , but it has pitfalls. You must look out for color distortion, foreshortening, and loss of depth. The most important thing to keep in your mind is that the camera freezes an image in a fraction of a second in time. When painting from life, an artist is making choices and interpreting what he or she sees over a period of time. It may sound funny, but I think Time is the most important ingredient an artist adds to a painting.


mick mcginty said...

This one will be fun to watch. Thanks for taking the time to post these progressions. The people watching you, like me can learn alot.
Your work has been amazing to folloe. Strong compositions, great color control, and my favorite aspect of how you paint is the active brushwork and shimmering quality to the surface. Very realistic imprssion, but undeniably painterly. Just so fun to look at up close to see the artistry, and then back up and enjoy the presence of the object.

Mick McGinty

mick mcginty said...

I forgot to mention. Thank you for putting my link on your page, I'll be putting a link to yours on mine.


Darren Maurer said...

This will be a really nice piece. It is interesting to see the progression of the painting as you work on it. Thanks.

Ed Terpening said...

I look forward to seeing this one progress and for your honesty in posting as you go. You lay yourself bare, don't you? I was thinking about that today as I ordered my paintings for the Estes Park Plein Air show this weekend--what if a collector sees this, and they buy one at the end of the list? Art is so subjective, even to the creator. I think there's a home for (almost) every paiting.