How I Paint
I am fascinated by the endless variety of humans, their looks, personality, character, and quirks. As a painter I create an illusion which reveals a great deal about my sitter. I look for their universal expression, usually a pleasant smile or contemplative look, which enables the viewer to be drawn into the eyes, the mood and moment of the painting. Observers usually see the personality of the subject which they know best.
When I start a portrait, I first have the person sit for a charcoal sketch. This helps me discover what makes the sitter look the way they do and allows me to get to know them through pleasant conversation. My goal is to capture the sitter’s inner likeness, the essence of who they are, their personality and character. Sketching also enables me to learn the sitter’s facial structure and features.
During this first meeting I will also take some photos of the sitter. I look for their “at ease” position rather than a formal posed shot. These photos I’ll use to help compose my composition and for reference when I don’t have the model in front of me. Photos are handy in rendering folds in clothing since these change from sitting to sitting. Backgrounds too, are easily done from photos and do not require the sitter’s time.
From my style you can see that I’m drawn to the old masters and classical realism. I use an initial charcoal drawing, photographs, and subsequent sittings to create my paintings. By listening and carefully observing proportion, light, color, form, line, and rhythm, I decipher the truth before me. I bring the illusion to life.
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