This little portrait (7 x 8.5") was created from a 3.5 x 5" vintage photo. I don't normally consent to doing such a small human portrait, especially from a client provided reference. I prefer to photograph the subject myself. It allows me to see the subject clearer. What is her attitude about things? Does she have a sense of humor? From the many photos I take, I will be able to make compositional choices that allow me to say something specific about the subject. With one client reference I have nothing but a 2 dimensional image. There is no way to know the subject. Hence I meticulously copy, as best I can, the photo. This kind of interpretation leaves very little, if any room for creativity. I depend on the medium and the character of my technique to make the difference. Though, I carefully warn the client that to work this small makes it difficult to nail likeness, that all it takes is one tick of the pencil to completely change an expression, does she hear me? Once the piece is finished and a photo sent off for approval, I sweat it out. Did I communicate well; did I capture whatever it is the client sees as likeness or will I have to start over again? Weighing challenge against risk, did I quote the proper price? One could say, that each time I do a commissioned piece I learn something new. That is invaluable right? I've been doing portraits for 15 years. It should be effortless by now, (smiley face with tongue in cheek and wink.) Good thing I have another commission to get to!
I'm tipping the proverbial "hat" to myself. The past few months have been quite successful: My painting "Waiting" was selected to be in Ann Kullberg's e-book Hidden Treasures. This same painting, which earned CPSA Signature Status for me by being my third acceptance into the CPSA International Exhibition within ten years, was also purchased at a recent art fair and was my biggest sale to date. And let's be honest, sales make the rest possible. For those of you interested, I am in the process of having the image printed in giclee form to be sold in my shop soon. READ ON
My painting "Who Rescued Whom" was published in Strokes of Genius 6, by Rachel R. Wolf, Northlight Books, hitting the bookstore shelves as we speak.
My painting "Departing" earned second place at the CPSA District Chapter 119 exhibition, showing now until the end of the month at The Clifton Cultural Arts Center in Clifton Oh.
That's it for now, but there is always room for more.
This is a first! While working out the composition for a full colored pencil commission , I sent a picture of the pencil sketch to my client. She immediately shot an email back asking me to "STOP!" She liked the pencil sketch so much, she wished to buy it as is. Of course I'll "clean" it up a bit before I let it go. Here's the most recent photo. I will continue to darken a little here and there and brighten a highlight or two. The piece started out as a horizontal, but the client wanted me to show pool water, so now it is square. Interesting development, wouldn't you agree?