23 August 2007


Fabriano CP 300 gsm, 12" x 9". 4 hours.

i have been thinking about portrait painting in general while working on paintings.

the most precious thing is life itself, the feelfulness of existence; and life makes its way with a body, unique from any other, which is visible and can be painted. so the life really can be portrayed through the body, by the way the body is shown. in the best moments, we see a life for itself, as part of the world as it is, a piece of the miraculous.

we all have habitual or instinctual ways of looking at people and judging them, a kind of sign language of feeling. the portrait painter has to understand these signs, so he can control them as part of the portrayal.

this is life color study, the outline drawing prepared in advance from a photograph, but the colors and modeling done from life, and the rest (eyes, lips, neck, background, shirt) done after she had left. prussian blue and phthalo green YS, flesh mostly raw sienna, venetian red, quin magenta, prussian blue and phthalo green.

i still haven't found the best way to photograph the flesh tones. this is a sunlit photo with contrast enhanced to restore the original value (light/dark) structure. but the light was slightly warm, so all the yellows have gone to white. the photo taken in the shade grayed out the yellows with blue light.

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