Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Young Man - sold

Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is a portrait study of a dark haired man with dramatic features and an intense expression. I focused on loose brushwork and keeping the edges soft. While I often do paintings of my friends, this guy is based on various sources that I mashed up with my imagination. So he's entirely my creation, and just as with the women I paint, I enjoy a vintage look in men. Therefore, I wanted to concoct a man who looked like he could have posed for a painter a hundred years ago. I like inventing people and I think I got him pretty lifelike.

As I have mentioned before a few times, I love painting faces. Actually, I love painting the entire figure but a whole figure can become a big project for me so I often to stick to faces as that seems to be where I focus even when painting a figure. I'm not sure what it is about the face that gets me so involved. I guess because it's amazingly intricate. The eyes alone have such a delicate architecture. While it can be aggravating, I enjoy painting flesh so a shirtless man is a good compromise between painting a face and a whole figure. Getting the skin tones believable is difficult, it's so easy to veer off into a chalky mess if you add white too heavily. Even a very pale person has far less white in their skin tone than you'd think. Women's faces are easier for me to paint than men because the look of makeup can go a long way to highlight features and inject color and visual interest that would look odd on the average man. All this effort is required simply to produce a passable looking human being, to convey something of the human spirit and emotion is an even higher mountain to scale but one I never tire of tackling.