Acrylic on Raymar canvas panel, 9 x 12″
Who is this lovely mystery woman with the bright smile? As I write this, I don’t yet know. I was paired with her through the luck of the draw. Artist Karin Jurik came up with a fun year-end challenge on her Different Strokes From Different Folks blog. One-hundred and thirty artists sent her photos of themselves, and she paired each of us with a partner to paint. So while I’m painting this artist from her photo, she’s painting me from mine. In the end we’ll find out each others identity and perhaps trade the portraits.
My apologies to the Mystery Artist! I captured a little of your sparkle, but I didn’t manage to capture your look.
UPDATE, December 31: Now the mystery artist has a name: Sally Tharp! I’ve admired her art on her blog before. So nice to put a personality and name with the face. Check out her gorgeous portrait of me on her blog. She had a tough photo of me to work from, with lots of shadows, but she did amazing things with it. Her use of light and color really blew me away! It’s like me, only better.
Here are a few in-progress images:
Sketched directly on the canvas with ink.
Next an underpainting in acrylic is added. I went heavy on the green so it would contrast with the skin tones:
The underpainting is done. If I knew this person wouldn’t mind it as is, I might be tempted to leave it like this. But not everyone likes having a green face! So I forge on, now switching to oils:
Hmm, that green t-shirt and yellow background aren’t working for me. Let’s change them:
Much better! (BTW, I didn’t realize until later that I was wearing a purple t-shirt when I painted this.)
The reference photo was taken with a flash, so there were no shadows. You can always tell when someone has painted from a flash photo, so I struggled to make it more portrait-like by shadowing the face.
I had all my colors turned up to 11 on this one, and I’m thinking now that maybe the red was too much.
But is any painting ever really done? There are things I would change if I lived on a deserted island and had only that one painting and all the time in the world to refine it. But I don’t. I have to take what I can learn from each project, and move on to the next challenge.