A people portrait in progress, part 2: Evan at Gopher Hill

July 26, 2008 at 8:14 pm 1 comment

Colors blocked in

Colors blocked in

This is the second stage in the portrait of Evan.  (See the previous post for the sketch.)  Using the sketch as a guide to the shapes, I blocked in the colors over the top.  By “blocked in” I mean that I roughly applied large flat areas of color.  Interestingly, this looks like Evan, even at this rough stage.  That’s because if one can get the eye-eye-nose-mouth placement accurate relative to one another “likeness” happens.  Usually. 

This stage of a painting is the most fun and the most satisfying because it is all about just mushing the brush around quickly.  Honestly, I could quit at this point…and I often have.

The next step is to look again — hard — at the reference photos and to make sure the colors are correct.  Then I’ll start refining the features of the face.  I like to leave the clothes and backgound very loose and sketchy.  Even graphite drawings I did 30 years ago are like this: “tight” face, especially eyes, and very loose clothing and hands and feet.  I’ll post some of those drawings to this blog soon.

I want to add an owl in the background, to represent knowledge and wisdom…both of which Evan has.  Old (16th, 17th, 18th century) portraits always had a lot of symbolism in them: skulls to remind the viewer of ever-present death, hourglasses to represent the immutability of time, coins to represent the wealth of the subject.  The inclusion of an owl is appropriate for Evan because he’s liked owls — especially barn owls — from the time he was a baby.

I just noticed I forgot to paint in the “sunnies” he was holding in his left hand in the original sketch. 

Stay tuned!

Entry filed under: Portraits in progress. Tags: , , , .

Today’s XXL Daily Painting…I call it “Barn Floor” Evan Portrait…FINISHED!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. SteamyKitchen  |  August 7, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    I love this style! Even if it’s just a work in progress, because if you squint, it looks 3D!!! Hi Evan!


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