Painting portraits from life and photos


This is one of the more recent portraits I’ve completed.  Wonderful young man about to start college. The glasses were new to me but not as difficult as I anticipated.  Still trying to get more paint on my paintings. This one is moving in that direction, but still not as much as I’d like.  This started as a 3 hour session that I reworked from the photo. I know that’s a “no-no”.  But when I came back and took another look at it I realized that it was off, so I couldn’t resist reworking it.  My goal this year is to start completing some portraits completely from life.

The colors from life are so completely different from a photo.  Lots of nuances that are completely gone in the photo.  I have discovered that working from my computer monitor is much better than an actual photo.  The other advantage is I can focus on different areas and blow them up for better detail.

I’ve recently started a new series of local musicians.  Began the first on Sunday and it brought up some things that I didn’t expect.  Painting a friend is so much different than a “model”.  Lots of fear and anxiety.  But the good news is that this is a friend that I could acknowledge the fear with and not be too embarrassed.  I did decide that for now I’ll spend some time figuring out the pose and photographing.  Then I’ll do a color study that doesn’t have to be perfect.  From the photo and the color study, I can begin the painting.  After I’ve gotten to a certain point, I can have the sitter back for more painting from life.


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