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Posts tagged ‘contemporary portraiture’

Study

loose
bgigi-copy

blog

No artist I know ever stops observing, never stops studying.  I’ve been away from this blog for a while, but I’ve been constantly working, studying.  The dissatisfaction with at least one element in every finished piece always drives the next piece.  Above are a few studies I’ve been working on, trying to “fix” something that didn’t gel in a previous effort.

Edges are a constant concern.  Softening, firming or losing them in a back round.  It’s something I’m always pondering.  Transitioning of values from one passage to another, is another thing I’m constantly thinking about. Dramatic lighting changes up the way I think about edges and transitions. And color often runs away with my intentions.

I’ll be posting more soon.  These will be finished works that will no doubt drive the next bunch of studies:)

One piece that I was pretty happy with (“Tommy”) when I finished it, was awarded sixth place in the Portrait Society of America’s  Members show in the Non-Commissioned category.   I’m thrilled, humbled and very excited! Click on the “Portrait Society” link and enjoy all of the excellent work!

Portrait of T

 

btommy

Portrait of T. Oil on Linen 20″x 29″

My favorite post of the week.  I’ll be back when I finish several WsIP.  Till then, thanks for your “likes” and comments.  They add fuel to my productive fire:)

bdetailoft

 

Detail, Portrait of T

Gingers

Eileen copy

Oil on Linen 11″ x 14″

This week I will be posting work realized during my long blogging hiatus.  This is the first of several portraits of red heads.  I love colors found in the skin tones and hair highlights of red heads.

 

D in Dots

bDianneindots copy

 

Oil on Linen 24″x 34″

A new portrait.

Sorry, all.  I’ve been spending more time painting, and less time blogging.  I’ve been and will be, following you and enjoying your blogs in bursts.  I’m slow, but I’ll get there:) I’m also posting my nature photography on Instagram, so click the sidebar photo if you’re interested.  As always, I very much appreciate your “likes” and thoughtful comments. Thank you!

Mercurial

 

bbold

 

bsullen copyLots of paint, loose and moody. Both are oil and relatively small, 11″x 14″ and 8″x10″ respectively.

A Passive Upbraiding

 

thebraidlg copy

Oil on Linen with Gold Leaf 16″ x 20″

braid23

Beginning 1 & 2

Hair: meaningful in so many traditions and cultures.  The way that we wear it may be a statement, a passive rebellion, an identifier, an obsession, a tabu or even a code.  It’s a point of pride and a worry, and it’s oh so personal.  It’s meaningful to me and so much fun to paint.  That’s why I wish I had kept this piece simpler, as in the early stages (directly above).  I may go back and make a drawing or an alla prima of this composition in the near future.

Fledglings

bsparrows copy                                                                                                             Oil on Linen 24″ x 24″

A portrait of M. and  a house sparrow.

Cloaked

bhood1 copy

11″x 14″ Oil on Linen

“Cloaked” is essentially the next- generation in the “Divide Series”.  Much like the original “Divide Series”, there is a barrier-a separation between the individual and the world.  In this new series, the divide takes the form of a headpiece.  Its connotations may or may not be religious,  from a time long past, or a time yet to come.

bhood3 copy

9″x 12″ Oil on Canvas

The surface of each painting is both textured and glossy, much like the feel of old Flemish portraits.  Sorry I’m unable to show you here, but I’m sure you get the idea.

bhood2 copy

12″x 16″ Oil on Linen

I’m pretty excited about them:)

Curls

bgracecurls copy

Oil on Linen 14″x 18″

Alla Prima, with a concentration on my subject’s gloriously chaotic curls.

Illuminated

bpurple copyOil on Linen 8″x 15″

An exercise I could have taken farther, but decided to leave as is.

 

Melange

bmeno copy

 

Oil on Linen 24×24″

A product of my recent exercises in backlight and line.  First in a series.

Oh, and I’m pleased to share that my work and links are now included in the directory/gallery of the curated site, Figurative Artist.

Button Up

bcold! copy

 

Oil on Linen 18″x 24″

It’s pretty cold out there! I’m constantly pulling my coat a little closer.

Ponytailed

 

bponytail

Oil on Canvas 16″ x 20″ Alla Prima

More backlight practice.

Values in Backlight

bgracebacklit copy11″x14″ Oil on Canvas

gracedrawing

 

I’ve often found myself frustrated while trying to realize form within a backlit subject.  The bright back round light tends to flatten the planes of a figure or face, making it difficult to read the values necessary to create the form of the features.  In a situation like this, the values are darker and often not as varied as one might hope. I painted this portrait with the intention of improving my skills in working with backlight.

As you can see, I started with a recycled canvas (covering an unsuccessful  painting), and a charcoal drawing.  The painting is essentially alla prima (if we can excuse the start in charcoal).

The Red Dress

breddress copy

Oil on Linen 24″ x  24″

Lots of reflected light, on a sumptuous linen surface=so much fun to paint!  Below you’ll find progress images.

hairholdsteps

When not working alla prima, I generally begin with a value based underpainting- blocking in the entire painting to create a first layer.  As you can see, with this one, I started with charcoal and worked the painting bit by bit.

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