Friday, June 22, 2018

Reworking A Portrait (And a Bit of News)

First, For A Bit Of News:

After a few decades of listening to husband John talk about the virtues of Colorado and missing our sons who live there, I have finally given in.  We have bought some property in Boulder, and will be in the process of selling our Barrington home, knocking down the house on the new property, and building a new one.  I'm girding myself for the roller coaster that is to become my new life. 

This is truly a bittersweet move.  I will miss the life we have built here, and the wonderful friends that we've made.  My consolation is that we will stay in touch and visits will be made.  But first we have to build that house!

I hope that you'll stay with me and my blog.  I'll let you know how the move is going, and how I find my footing as an artist in a new community.  If I haven't said it lately, your support has meant the world to me.  Just knowing that people are reading what I have to say has been wonderful.  Thank you, and let's go on a new journey together!

And Now For Our Regular Program:

Cassidy, 9x12"

When I paint a portrait from life, I have limited time with the model.  In two to three hours, I try to capture the essence of the person, and having a set amount of time forces me to focus quickly on the story I want to tell.  More times than not, I'll never touch these studies again because I want the painting to remain a study.  And let's face it, I usually overwork things if I go back in with lots of time on my side.

This little painting is an exception.  The version above is the reworked version.  Here is the original after about 3 hours with the model.  See if you can tell what I reworked, and I'll explain what I did below.

The first thing that bothered me with my study was that she appeared to be scowling!  Nobody wants an angry painting.  I gave her a slight brow lift and turned up the corners of her mouth ever so slightly.  I zapped up the color on her mouth and gave her a fuller lower lip.  Better already.

Then I looked at color temperature.  The shadow under her chin was actually very warm, sort of a dark reddish brown.  If the shadow is that warm, the light areas of her face will be cooler, and I had painted them quite warm initially.  I glazed a layer of light blue over the warm yellowish areas to cool them down, and added light blue highlights.  

I looked at the transition between the shadowy area on her cheek and the light area and decided to add a flush of light red to the transition area.  Cheek color made her come alive.

And then I put my brushes down!  If I kept working, all the spontaneity would be lost.  I think this painting says what I wanted it to, and I'll call it quits now.


  1. I love this! You brought her to life!!

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