Another Daily Paintworks weekly challenge, this time offered by Raymond Logan. For the Lincoln Challenge Raymond supplied us with a black and white photo of Mr. Lincoln that we’ve seen a thousand times. We had the option of painting in black and white, or color. Since I often paint color from black and white photos (it helps keep my values in line), I naturally chose color.
I stared into Abe’s face, trying to get a feel for who he was. Something beyond the “Honest Abe” of our elementary school textbooks and the “Gay? Abe?” of modern times. Thinking about this tuxedoed man’s love of theatre, I started wondering how he might look if he were alive today, attending a show.
His skin would be a bit smoother, not because he’d have work done, but because Modern Abe would spend less time in the sun and have access to milder soaps and better skin care products. I think Original Abe was probably a smoker, which wreaks havoc on the skin, especially the forehead. That wasn’t just the weight of the world creasing his brow, but also good old Kentucky tobacco. Chances are that Modern Abe would be a non-smoker. Original Abe’s hair was a wild mess, coarse, dry, and looking a bit unkempt even in a formal portrait. Modern Abe’s hair would still look a bit wild, but in a sexier way, carefully choreographed by his stylist . In a designer tux, he wouldn’t look like a “scarecrow,” but slim and elegant, like Obama. Modern Abe would still look like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he’d also be a dashing figure. Sexy, even.