oil painting, 10 x 8 inch, unframed
done from a photograph for a portrait exchange
This my final version of a portrait that I did for a portrait exchange for Different Strokes for Different Folks. The blog is sponsored by Karin Jurick. There were 130 folks that committed to doing a portrait of another person using the photograph of themself that was submitted to Karin. Karin put all the names in a hat and drew them with two people exchanging photos of one another. I have no idea who my photo belonged to, but it was a tough one due to it being a flash photograph.....so no contrast to help define features or a directed light source, except for straight on. This was a real challenge. Hopefully, I was able to capture some of the essence of the person. However, this challenge was not about capturing a likeness, but what our interpretation was of the photo.
Here is the progress of the portrait that I did from start to finish. The final version is above.
While doing the portrait, a few basic tips from portrait classes many years ago from a community college in Arizona, began to resurrect themselves. The first being is to not use a photograph that has been taken with flash unless that is the only option, and of course, paint from a live model if possible. Most folks these days do not have the time to model for a portrait so a photo is the next best way to try to capture their essence and then use it for reference. Having a photo with some contrasting light that is taken in natural light is easier to paint than a flash photo.
The second tip that I remember the teacher remarking on was to try to have a view that is not straight on, but slightly to one side. These are not rules, but just some guidelines for making the life easier on the artist. Catching a person in their environment and knowing a bit of their personality helps, too. If I plan on doing a commission piece, I would actual do a photograph of the person and then try to get a good feel for what their personality is all about.
This was a fun challenge and really pushed me to be creative!
Check out the other portraits at DSFDFs. What fun to see all the interpretations!
P.S. I did not use the limited palette with just 2-3 colors for this one. This was tough as it was without putting more obstacles in my path.