Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Portrait, Oil on Board

"Thoughts of Spring"

Every artist has a favorite model and Amber is without a doubt, mine. She has beautiful bone structure and at the same time a certain softness about her that makes her a pleasure to draw and paint. I did this portrait from a photo that was taken some time back when Amber was pregnant with her son Joshua. It was a rainy, cold day and Amber was standing at the window on a short break. It was the perfect shot so I asked her to hold still while I adjusted the camera. I took hundreds of photos that day but this one was the best. I prefer to work from life, but often my budget or time do not make that possible. Photos can sometimes lead to a stiff or an unnatural looking portrait. This is because when you work from life, the model moves. So the work tends to be a composite of many poses which come together to lend the portrait a certain sense of life. Photos, on the other hand, don't move and this can cause the eye to focus on each portion of the photo separately making for a hard lined and fragmented painting.  I think, however, that I managed to retain Amber's special qualities as well as her quiet moment of hopefulness in this portrait.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Portrait, Oil on Linen

Portrait of Jenna

This small portrait was originally meant to be a two or three day study. The model was sitting for a three or four week pose and my intentions were to do a couple of different studies from different positions. For this reason, the lay in was done in paint rather than taking the time for a careful drawing. However the block in came out so well that my teacher suggested I follow through with it and make it a three week full portrait. I can see changes I'd like to make on it now, but over all it came out pretty well. I love working from life but the reality is that it's hard to do unless you have several people willing to help pay for the pose. Three to four weeks is a long time. I suppose as I improve, it will take less time.