I create my paint sketched freehand with a paint brush. I must have told you by now, how hard it is to do this and to actually achieve an accurate resemblance. It is really hard. There are a few tricks though, to assist you. I used a couple. One is to turn both the reference image and the painting upside down. It helps immensely when you really get stuck and are not seeing some feature correctly. You can see the error of your seeing immediately because when upside down a lip or an eye or any shape becomes an abstract shape and the concept of eye of lip goes away. It turns your brain off a bit but increases your vision. It’s a pretty amazing tool.
They say the eyes are the window of the soul but the mouth creates the likeness. Honestly I spent hours trying to see her mouth correctly. Each tiny curve and tonal value has to be correct for it to properly appear as the reference mouth. If it’s not correct, you have a painting of some unknown person. I spent hour working on/painting her mouth and in the end is is finally correct. Brushstrokes throughout the painting appear a bit choppy particularly in the shadows of this digital file – far less so on the painting itself. I didn’t particularly concern with smoothing brushstrokes. myself with that. I wanted the features to be correct.There are many ways to make portrait painting easier, I could use a grid, there are even ways to copy an image onto the canvas. However, I want to sketch and paint freehand and to strengthen my eye for this capacity. Therefore, I must endure the pain of the process. I don’t mind a bit of suffering to get there. Below: A redo.
Do you recall the pink roses in the green vase last week? Well, this is it. I gave it a redo. The red rose in the red vase painting quickly had a new home and I missed the red vase in particular. I also kept envisioning gold tones in the background rather than the more cool neutral tones I used before, so in this redo, gold it is. Original below and I do like the original roses. It’s all fun. I’m already thinking about what I’ll do next and I’ve pretty much decided.
John Singer Sargent was an American expatriate artist and was considered the greatest portrait artist of his time (1856 – 1925). If you are not familiar with his paintings, I hope you will look him up and view his masterful works. He was painter of the rich and famous. I wanted to imagine his brushstrokes. This is my study of his study of Rosina Ferra whom he painted very early in his career at 22 years old. She was a frequent model for his sketched and finished paintings.
It is hard to know when working from internet images what the actual colors are in the actual painting and there were so many internet versions to choose from. Accurate and original color didn’t matter to me, as much as did form, values and accuracy of in the face. There was a substantial amount of violet in my painting and in my reference. None of this shows up in this internet conversion. I have little doubt that my version of her sweater falls short of his in many ways. The sweater was far more challenging than the face but I wanted to make an effort. I wanted some semblance of the abstraction of Sargent’s brush marks – marks which will remain uniquely his.The texture of his canvas would have also contributed significantly to the creation of the sweater and all aspects of the painting. Painting her face, was enjoyable and I think the color is in the ball park.
we had the best time ever during her photo shoot. She told me she had been practicing poses for years while yearning for such an occasion. She went from one pose to another in rapid succession. Top Model never had is so good. I’m only giving you the simplified head shot version. Her actual hair was more like the color below – a red burgundy and she had plenty of it.
Below is a a second portrait painted from a reference image I really like. I like the image he because of its varied and interesting shapes and angles. I painted it fast and loose which was fun.