Friday, April 19, 2013

In Training: Darlene

Day two of my portrait training went fairly well.   End of the semester and students are getting sick.  I had two cancellations, so one of my coworkers, Darlene, agreed to sit for 45 minutes.   After my good day last Friday, I was arrogant enough to think I could trim off a few minutes... 

I forgot how much easier is for me to paint men rather than women.    My natural manner of working involves a lot of short choppy brush strokes that exaggerates light and dark planes over smooth, careful, rounding of forms.   Most guys don't mind if they end up looking a but older and more rugged; let's just say the effect is less pleasing for women.   Attempting a measure of blending took an extra five minutes.  Also, Darlene obviously takes a lot of care with her hair, and I wanted to do it justice.   Ten more minutes gone.   I wasn't nearly finished as planned, so I conscripted her for the full hour and got this result.

Another annoying thing about portraits-- did I mention people tend to expect a likeness?  Other artists are far more forgiving than the general public--who tend to expect photographic results.   While painting, I imagined that the Farmers and onlookers at ArtFields could be a very rough crowd indeed.  I was more than a little anxious to see how Darlene would react to the process, but she was a very good sport.   I guess all those years around artists had her a better prepared.   I'll post the other two results over the weekend, and I plan on doing a couple of more to stay warmed up before the big day. 

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