Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jess 2

20 x 20 acrylic on stretched canvas

I am apparently much more of a glutton for punishment that I ever realized.  Painting really teaches me some things about myself that I either was not aware of, or I try not to admit.  I don't know exactly how to explain it.  Perhaps it is simply vanity.  I have a hard time letting something defeat me. 
So after working really hard on my first portrait of Jess, re-doing, wiping off, painting over, etc., I was still fairly disappointed with the outcome.  So what did I do next?  A landscape would have probably been appropriate, maybe a boat, a still life, or maybe one of my beloved chickens.  But noooooo, instead of just moving on, I had to try her again, this time from a different photo.  You may recall from a prior post, that she is my youngest son's girlfriend.  My son is an aspiring photographer, so Jess is the subject of many of his photographs.  He took this photo of her while we were at The Topaz - our favorite spot to stay at Flagler Beach. 

So, the good news is, I like this painting fairly well (for my second portrait) and I feel like I got better doing those oh-so-difficult flesh tones and shadows.  The bad news - it really doesn't look like her.  It is something about the eyes.  Although I measured the angles with my brush, turned it upside down for another perspective, and tried various tricks, she still turned out a bit "Asian" according to my son.  Maybe the next painting will be entitled "Third Time's a Charm!"  Thank you for your interest!

P.S. - if any of you much more experienced artists have tricks you would like to share about portrait painting - I'm all ears (and eyes).