"New Hat" Oil Painting
In June, I was procrastinating. I was telling myself I should be doing a portrait. It had been 3 months since I had gone to Lea Wight's portrait workshop --- and I knew that if I didn't try soon I would not remember what I had learned.
One of the barriers to attempting a portrait is the "rule" that we are supposed to paint portraits from life. I was too chicken to do it, i.e., ask someone to sit there in my studio for hours while I practiced my new skills.
I have always had an issue with the making of portraits ---photography or painting --- because you have to actually interact with your subject. (I prefer street photography where the subject doesn't know you are observing them.)
Then I saw that a painting friend, Molly Preston (click here to see her colorful work) posted a photo on FB of her husband who had just bought a new hat.
I liked the idea of being connected to my subject through Molly but not actually knowing him--- I have never met her husband-- and because it was about the new hat. This painting would not be about capturing a likeness, per se, but the pride of owning a new hat.
So, I printed out a copy of the photo and taped him to the wall as if he were sitting there.
as of June 9I made myself do the underpainting and then add the facial skins tone before we left on vacation.
In the workshop we had learned how to use the shadow side to create form. I was happy to start to see him come alive. Nonetheless,I am still painting too small. His head isn't life size. I did this in the workshop and it is a habit I'll have to break. But I was able to create reasonable colors for the skin tones.
as of July 7When we got back, I fixed the drawing of the hat, tweaked the grin, and added his shirt. Next I am going to work on his eyes and try to add the twinkle in his eyes.
The visitors to my studio were very interested in the progress of this painting People have lots of opinions on portraits, I learned. It was fun to hear their advice.