18 February 2009


watercolor & charcoal on Arches CP 300gsm, 16" x 12".

i worked with carole last saturday and had a memorable experience with her. this is the portrait sketch i did at the end of the session.

carole has a type of feminine strength that i find really compelling. intelligent, confident, serene, physically robust and instinctively gracious. my drawing completely left me, and i was unable to do her hands. the portrait sketch was done in pencil, then aggressively modified with charcoal from the pose photograph.

i have had two packages of 40" x 60" arches 600gsm sitting in my garage and not had inspiration to work with them. carole likes to dance and at the end of the session she threw some astonishing "dancing" nudes that are finished down to the fingertips. so i am thinking of painting a few of them up, really big.

i was struck by carole's features, and she explained that her geneology goes back to the native indians of belize and european colonizers. i relished the idea of two tribes separating in prehistory, walking in opposite directions to the ends of the earth, iberia and central america, then mingling again in her bloodline. her eyes, which are black, are painted phthalo green overlaid on cadmium red deep, making them appear both black and iridescent.

her combination of indian and european features is very striking, and her face is both attractive and complex. i emphasized complex in the portrait. i overmodeled contours to give the portrait a robust, primitive feeling. i kept the color palette small to contrast hair and figure. the flesh tones are mixed of quinacridone magenta or cadmium scarlet with green gold.