Monday, April 13, 2009

More Studies

Oh, I am really having fun with these.. This is something I do just for myself, to
learn, to enjoy, and to build skills. So, when I've done the obligatory painting for the day, and taken care of other duties, I am able to spend a little time working on these portrait studies.  
Both of these were a real challenge, for different reasons. The young man is my first attempt at painting ethnic skin tones, and the  photo I worked from was black and white, so it was especially difficult.  But he has such fabulous bone structure that I couldn't resist at least trying.  The second is one of my granddaughters when she was a baby.   Babies and small children have different facial proportions than adults, and if you don't get THAT right, then the painting doesn't look like a baby.  For example, did you know that on  the average adult face, the width of the mouth is from pupil to pupil.  Check it out in the mirror!  But children and babies' mouths are much narrower than that - usually coming to more like tear duct to tear duct. 
So, all of that was a challenge too. But I've always liked this photo - I was holding her, and it was a cold, raw day, so she's got a blanket wrapped around her as well as that old fashioned little crochted hat.    

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Portrait Studies

There is just nothing easy about painting people - or at least doing it well. I'll be the first to admit I have a long way to go to develop this skill.  And one thing that is just absolutely necessary is to practice, practice, practice.
So, in my "spare" time,
I am doing just that.. and I've put a new folder on my website for some of these portrait studies.
They're not intended to be finished paintings, but
I figure the more I do, the more I'll learn.  Hopefully, after a few dozen or so, maybe I'll notice some small progress!  I've already learned something. Painting the smooth skin of a child, like this girl with the head wrap, is really difficult - unlike the wrinkled features of the old man, where choppy brushstrokes would work. The girl's features really had me working to smooth edges and keep value changes correct.  
More to come!