Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three Paintings in Progress

I continued working on this painting today, working on tightening up the image of the boy more. This photo makes his face look more ruddy than it actually is. In real life it looks much better. The right hand is going to be a challenge since it is foreshortened and a bit blurry. It's hard to tell what is really going on there. I already am not a fan of hands as it is so I will probably save that part for last. 

The lace of my grandmother's shawl still needs some work. It doesn't quite look like lace yet, just some cool patterned top to the dress. I haven't worked on it much since there were other parts taking up my attention. 

As I waited for the previous painting to dry, I worked on this smaller piece. The bathing suit has some nice wrinkles that can't be seen to well here. I still need to go back and work on the skin. They are still looking a bit one dimensional to me. This was a pretty easy image to paint. Nothing too complicated here.

Once I did all that I could on the swimsuit girl and waited for the paint to dry, I worked on the portrait of my grandfather that I wanted to have for my wedding. Ben and I wanted to honor his father, who died last year, and my grandfather, who died about 5 years ago, since both were important in our lives. I am having the work time with this portrait though. The original image is pretty basic. No strong shadows. No big contrasts. I think because of this, the image is hard for me to capture and it is looking like a cartoon version of my grandfather. It is so frustrating to be able to paint complete strangers extremely well and not be able to paint someone who means a lot to me. I'm not sure where to go with this and what to do. I have less than three weeks to finish and I am starting to panic. Do I just let it look like a cartoon? How do I make it more photographic? We'll see how this one works out. I have no idea if I can pull this off. 


  1. It's like surgery, dahling. Operating on a relative is so difficult it's practically forbideen. Same goes for painting them. Having that emotional investment creates an obstacle to being objective. While it's good to love the people you are painting, it becomes hard not to exaggerate the flaws when one is personally invested in making it as absolutely perfect as possible. It is our dissatisfaction, however, that makes us grow as artists. Don't lose hope!

  2. You are a wise one, William. I showed the painting of my grandmother to my dad and he loved it and said the bar would ruin it....of course. But at least he thinks it looks like her. I didn't show him my grandfather. I know that one isn't nearly as ready to be shown.