After wrapping, preparing, and sketching on one large-scale canvas for a few weeks and leaving it for almost a whole year. I have finally decided to revisit it and make something I could be proud of.
I have recently come to find that calling a painting finished is almost always untrue. So I plan on taking my time equally adding and subtracting without worrying about the final details. I had many different ideas for this piece and originally it started out as three faces interconnected with flowing lines and subtle hue changes between the three primary colors. While it sounded nice in my head, I quickly realized I was rushing a bit and wouldn’t be happy with it unless I restarted. With all the time I put in just trying to conceptualize the piece, it felt like my efforts were wasted which is likely why it collected dust for so long.
After deciding that I wanted to have another go at it. This time around I tried a subject that interested me as opposed to three heads that could take on a multitude of meanings. Since I have also been doing a lot of practice and sketches with portraiture it would only make sense for me to do a portrait of my girlfriend.
I plan to focus on shadow unification, likeness, and overall a strong sense of visual interest. Fulfilling the likeness of a person is something I’ve been having a lot of trouble with. I hope to achieve this through simplification of shapes and slowing myself down throughout the whole process. I have tried to do so by catching myself doing things too early such as adding the blue background in. I’ll likely go back and subtract some of the details in the light side as well. I also wanted to block out the whole eye in shadow instead of trying to finish the details at this point in the painting. Going off of the idea of simplification, shadow unification is also something I have taken interest in recently. I feel that it is a very successful way of portraying realism with a very minimal amount of detail.
These two pieces above (Felicia Forte left, Sainer right) are works that gave me a lot of inspiration for my piece.
While I love seeing the outcome of any artists efforts, I especially appreciate when artists I look up to share things they haven’t finished or left purposefully incomplete. I think it provides a huge amount of insight that would be much more difficult to extract from a piece covered in corrections. Ultimately, I hope to persevere with my work in progress and slow myself down in order to learn from the whole process.