Today's drawing for the challenge I can' t post as it is for the start of a new commission for a client, 30" x 40", requiring some privacy, so instead I post a portrait of mine that was unveiled yesterday.
Clothing choice plays such a big part in a portrait's success in my opinion. Give me a beautiful little girl, a white satin dress with pink bows and I am in heaven. I spent time getting to know this little poppet. She was very smart for such a little girl and I wanted to capture that in the portrait.
I am really not interested in just slavishly copying a photo. I aim for what I call a 'speaking likeness', where it looks like the sitter is about to jump off the canvas and say something. I spend as long as it takes to get that.
In this portrait, I wanted to play with the idea of a reflection in a mirror, painting the reflection slightly down in value so as not to compete with the sitter. I worked from several photos to piece it all together. The hands from one, the face from another, the mirror from here, the refection from there.
It was also important to me to keep the brushwork lively. Some areas have very thick paint. The more I see these photographers who "paint" over their photos selling them as oil portraits, the more I want to put really thick paint on my paintings with very obvious brushwork.
An oil painting speaks for itself in a way a painted photograph can not.