Friday, November 18, 2016
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Thursday, October 27, 2016
This is Stephen. He's a plywood artist and I absolutely love his work. He makes really cool stuff out of plywood - vessels, fine art, coffee cups, etc. A couple of years ago we worked on an inkwell design together and he built me a couple that I love and use practically every day. Anyway, we've been talking lately about him building a couple plywood panels to replace the two metal gas tank covers on my Ducati Scrambler motorcycle. So, a couple of weeks ago I rode out to talk about it with him and asked him if, while I was out there, I could do his portrait.
It was a perfect autumn day so we sat out on his back porch and caught up with each other's lives while I sketched. I brought my large Moleskine sketchbook (12"x16") which I knew would be ambitious for just an hour sketch. Well, the time flew by for me, as it so often does when I'm sketching/painting and before I knew it, my time was up. I didn't especially like the portrait I painted so I took a photo of Stephen with my phone with the plan that I would fix it back in the studio.
I have mixed feeling about this portrait now that I've "fixed" it in the studio. Part of me feels like I've "cheated" - it's sort of half live and half from a photo and therefore not true to my proclaimed effort of doing live portraits. But then the other part of me says I didn't have time to "complete" the portrait so it's fair that I use a camera to so that I can bring the portrait to a satisfactory conclusion.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Saturday, October 22, 2016
This is Dipika. I met her in May when I traveled to Nepal and joined a group of strangers to trek the Annapurna circuit. She's my first "face 2 face" portrait in this new phase of the Portrait Project and this sketch is from a few months ago when we were on the trek. I ended up painting her portrait 3 times over the course of the 2 week trek. This one is my favorite, though as I recall, she wasn't particularly fond of it.
This portrait took about 30-40 minutes and was done in the evening at a teahouse near Chame along the Annupurna circuit trek. I used a 4b pencil and small watercolor kit that fits inside of an Altoids tin along with a Pentel waterbrush.
I'm going to flat out give all the credit for this new phase of Portrait Project to Dipika. She inspired it by showing me that I not only could do it but that I had vastly more to gain in painting from life. After I painted Dipika, I had the idea to paint the portraits of our entire group - eighteen in all. And since they are all friends now and live in parts of the world I may never get to, I'll be sprinkling their portraits in as I go along. So, thanks Dipika. You started something.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
This is me. Finally, I have fallen victim to my own brush. It's not exactly how I see myself (do I really look that intense!?) but I was going for it, like I have done with all of my portraits, drawing and painting what I see and letting the moments flow together until I feel like I have a complete portrait. When I start a painting, whether it's a landscape or a portrait, I never know how it will end up. It's what keeps me going - it's an adventure - and the act of painting changes me and I come away with a different understanding and connection with who or what I just painted that I didn't have before I started.
So, I've been thinking, after completing my original goal of painting 250 portraits, how, or even IF, I would continue The Portrait Project. I have gained much from this project, both in terms of improving my skills as an artist as well as gaining a deeper connection to my friends. But I've also realized that by working with photographs - and usually without my subject's permission - that I'm denying their participation in the process of making their portrait. So, here's what I'm going to do - I'm throwing all of the names of my Facebook friends (currently there are 477) back into my "friend jar" (The "friend jar" is a jar that sits next to my desk that has the names of all of my Facebook friends whose portraits I haven't done. I reach into this jar without looking and take a name out when I'm ready to paint a portrait) ((really, I do this)). But this time, I'm going to do "live" portraits - as many as possible - rather than working from photographs. I hope you will all join me on this new and exciting journey.
OK! Let's make some art and see what happens. Should be fun...
8x11 pencil and watercolor. #253