This was my class demo this week. I was pretty happy with it. Even the model said that I was an incredibly fast painter. And she should know. She has worked for everyone. I was able to keep this demo loose, keep the darks transparent, always a good sign, leave my cool ground showing in places, and basically not screw it up by over noodling. I knew I had put something down that was good and was able to leave it alone.
In my studio I am currently working on a commission, 30 x 40, for an out of state client which is coming along very well but is taking me forever and a day. The light is complicated and I chose the harder portrait to do, to challenge myself, and hopefully deliver a great painting.
One of the other artists in the my in-residence program asked me yesterday:"Are you having trouble with that portrait?". I didn't quite know what to say except "No, I am just taking my time getting it right!" A strangely insensitive question to ask another artist if you ask me.
I think sometimes people just assume us portrait artists whip these things out. Easy, peasy, lemon, squeezy. One, two, three, collect the check. Onto the next. NOT.
I think sometimes people look down their noses at portrait artists. An art friend told me in her Santa Monica adult art school course, she was told portrait artists were craftsmen, rather than real artists. A bit like a washing machine repairman. But hey, there is art going on here...and one just can't rush the process. Vermeer was slow too, not that I am comparing myself to him but I think of this fact often. It takes the time it takes.
This study is 18 x 24. Available for purchase.