Portrait: Louise – 21/01/16 – One Session
This week we were to incorporate what we learned last session regarding the placement of head and shoulders into a painting. Louise is our sitter this week, she is a professional artist herself and a keen motorcycle rider. Our tutor encouraged her to wear her biking gear, however, she was driving so just wore casual hoodie and jeans. I decided to stick with painting head and shoulders.
Initial indications were good, I felt I achieved a likeness very quickly and up towards tea break the expression and structure were there. I actually felt I should stop painting, and Mike (tutor) encouraged me to take a break from painting and make a drawing to fully observe and understand our sitter. I used charcoal on some recycled, buff paper and worked quickly and spontaneously. The intention being to continue with the painting after the tea break.
Again, as often is the case, I wish I had taken a photograph of the painting at the point I stopped to make the drawing. At this stage I felt happy with the likeness as an oil sketch, however, I ploughed on to make it a “finished” painting. In effect what I did, was muddy my colours and make Louise look very masculine. It is tricky, when your subject, although very feminine, wears no make-up and casual, androgynous type clothing, to give a softer appearance – I also ran out of time to work on the hair, which unfortunately from my viewpoint was more full to the other side. I actually felt the need to apologise to Louise at the end. Having said all that, although slightly depleted from the halfway point, there was still a bit of a likeness, but it definitely was not flattering!