Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Story of Anne's Portrait

The total number of portraits I have created is probably well into the triple digits. The vast majority are pretty traditional, realistic portraits drawn from photographs. Every once in a while I have a client who really lets me have some fun! My good friend and fellow artist Geri has eight children, and numerous grandchildren, and I think she's determined to have me paint every single one! That's cool with me!

My favorite portrait for Geri so far was the one of her daughter, Annie. Geri sent me a pile of photos. Most of them were snapshots, and Anne was too far away to get really good details in her face. She did send this one photo that was a great close-up, even though it was older. The only problem with using this photo as a reference was the color- it was pretty washed out, and there wasn't a lot of light/shadow to define the contours of her face.

So I searched for other sources of inspiration to merge with the photo of Annie and create an interesting custom portrait.

I found this image (I think it's Drew Barymore) in a magazine and LOVED the colors and the light and shadows on her face. I also adore the work of Francisco Clemente (I first saw his work in the movie "Great Expectations" with Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow). I love the exagerated eyes and the combination of line and color.

So, going back to Annie, I worked on watercolor paper mounted to foam core and started layering all of these elements into her portrait - drawing with charcoal and pastel and painting with watercolors and acrylics. I think I ended up with a unique and beautiful portrait that went way beyond just copying a photo.


ZENABU said...

Love your take on it. I admire anyone that can create such beautiful pieces of art. Your work is great. I love how your portraits eyes talk to me.

ABrushWithHumor said...

That portrait is lovely, I can't believe you can combine all those mediums and it comes out like that. Incredible!

Nicole Tattersall said...

I love your blog... such gorgeous illustrations and works. Found it on an Etsy thread. I've added a link form my blog to yours too!


FoundVintageStyle said...

Oh this is so beautiful! You have taken it to a whole other level, the use of color is brilliant.

linda said...

wow! what amazing work - it has a really ethereal (spelling?) quality, very beautiful - i bet she loves it :)