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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Unconventional Portraits = Expressive !

Remember this wild and crazy piece?

I claimed it was a painting of my sister in her sanctuary: flying down a hill on her bicycle, a portrait of her, if you will, illustrating her moment of bliss.

And it was almost lyrical to paint.  Little did I know it would strike a chord with others who are also drawn to the unconventional portrait.  This rendering prompted a request for wedding portraits and I gladly answered the challenge.  I personally know this lucky couple so I had the advantage of recognizing their spontaneity and playfulness - some photos from the Mother also helped.

So here is my process.

 First I prepared some whimsical backgrounds from which to start, lots of color, a bit of planning...

Next I practice the sketches, not yet exactly certain how much of the drawing I would use but knowing that familiarity with all the parts and pieces would be important.

Now I had to choose which board would go with each sketch.  And make adjustments if needed.

When I got one sketch I thought I could work from I carefully taped it to the painted board with transfer paper beneath it.  At this stage I needed to start making decisions as these marks do not erase well and I did not want a bunch of extra lines on the finished piece.  I traced over as few guide lines as possible.

Then I began the real fun of bringing my subject to life.  I wanted more of an impression than a perfect rendering...I really didn't want the viewer to get caught up in bike chains and seat positions and shirt buttons.  Hoping for a sense of playfulness and unconventionality about the pose,  I exaggerate some parts and eliminate others... no need to get all detail-y about it.

Now, the most difficult part: marinating.  I let the piece sit a while.  I catch a glance of it from all angles in all lights and I try to divorce myself from having created it.  I look at it as if I have never seen it before.  Now I make a list (or I will forget) of the parts that need changing or correcting.
Very slowly I go back in and tackle these places.  This is the tedious, time consuming phase but one of the most important ones.  I photograph it, lay it in a frame, turn it upside down...all new ways of seeing it.

I make the changes ... And then...voila!  It's finished!

Color Fully Yours,

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