Instagram

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Speaking Likeness...365 Days of Drawing...



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.




6 comments:

Kelley Sanford said...

Thanks, Johanna. I've just discovered your work recently. Beautiful, wonderfully executed and looking forward to seeing much more.

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

that's funny Kelley..I am still enjoying your work right NOW looking through YOUR blog...

Marie Theron said...

What a body of work, Johanna! Delightful impressionistic brushwork. My respect and admiration for your great accomplishments!

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

Thank you Marie...what kind things you say.

Marian Fortunati said...

Johanna.. when I saw this on FB I thought it was exquisite... I am even more impressed by seeing it again and reading your words. I totally agree that a REAL portrait such as yours shouldn't even be compared to someone who has painted over a photo... those might be on canvas but they're really not painted portraits.
The family of this little girl must be in heaven to have this beautiful piece.

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

ah...thanks dear Marian...unfortunately us painters of fine art portraits are often in direct competition with those done by a photographer and his team who paint with the help of a computer often times and then print them on art canvas. The buying public often does not know the difference. I have had my portrait work sit directly next to such computer generated painted photos many times at charity auctions. Going often for the same price. The auction organizers also don't know the difference either. These photo paintings are often called portrait paintings somewhat misleading promo "blurbs". One photo 'artist" even referred to being inspired by John Singer Sargent, mis-spelling Sargent's name. Now come on...!!!

I am not against these types of portraits, can see some merit and talent in them, just don't call them fine art portrait paintings.