Oil on canvas, 10"x8"
This is a portrait of the 18 year old Ernest Hemingway at the start of his voluntary service as an ambulance driver in Italy during WWI. It's based on an old black and white photo and I thought it would be fun to paint Hemingway as though he had posed for a quick portrait study by John Singer Sargent, who went to capture the conflict in Europe as an official war artist. I kept the brushwork loose and I think it has the look of portrait from the early 20th century.
It was fascinating to contemplate the young Hemingway in this period shortly before encountering the horrors of war which would both inspire and mark him. I feel he emerged looking quite boyish yet confident, almost cocky...as though he knew that big things were ahead for him.