Saturday, September 13, 2014

Male Portrait

Here is the next of my Friday morning portraits. It took about two hours of painting in a three hour session with lots of breaks for tea and cake.

We had an older male model for a change. As there are about eight people working in a group situation you don't really get to chose your position. It is more of case of everyone arrives and sets up in a semi-circle and then the model sits. You could sit either side to get a profile view but usually you just have to paint what is in front of you with little room to manoeuvre for a more fetching angle.

Our model Max had a great nose and I had almost a profile view of it with just a hint of the furthest eye. The portrait was all about the nose from the start against the dark background. There is a good connection colour-wise and design-wise with the ear. Ah, give me a good ear and I can paint it all morning!
I seem to have a habit of having to make the head bigger and bigger as I start. This meant that the back of Max's head got closer and closer to the edge. (Alas I didn't start with the dreaded thumbnail sketch!) I decided to turn this potential problem into an asset and used the head touching the edge to anchor the head slightly and give me the freedom to "open out" the front of the face and direct all attention there, at least initially.

Things seem to work better for me if I get stuck in quickly with what excites me and in this case it was the nose. The model even joked "Don't make my nose too big" and of course if this was a paid commission one might be slightly influenced by this expressed wish. I do so love working from a paid model with no pressure to please the client!

I worked from a seated position on a donkey easel and yes I did buy tubes of acrylic to take along instead of my big pots of colour. I had fun with the beard, - lots of blue and mauve hues and skin tone showing through. I can't remember the last time I painted a beard but I do remember it was also a white one and easily the lightest tone on the face apart from the highlights.

I did post this picture on facebook yesterday and two people immediately recognised the model and made comments, so I quickly removed it. I am fine about the painting being out there, but not sure what the model would think about all the comments and the ease with which anyone can make them. He would probably be fine but I will have to check.

I am really loving this weekly exercise in portraiture. I am still working hard every other day on my show for March 2015. These pieces are not ready to be revealed as yet.

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