Another digital portrait from last year (or maybe even earlier!) that I’m only posting now (woops!). This is not the first time I’ve painted this model. What can I say? The proportions of her face just seem so mathematically perfect to me!
I really miss doing portraits. I am this close to putting the call out on Facebook or Instagram asking for people to send me pictures of them just so I don’t have to fall back on self-portraits or pestering my immediate family to pose for me.
When it comes to selecting a seat on the train between Montreal and Toronto, you have two choices: you can either face Southwards and catch a view of Lake Ontario (for at least part of the trip), or you can face North and watch endless farmland and villages roll by. I’m so glad I chose the land side because who would want to miss out on a sunset like this?
On a whim, I decided last week to crack open one of my many vintage magazines and see if I could reproduce an image. I am beyond amazed that I actually managed to 1) finish something, and 2) find that I’m happy with the result, especially considering how flat and grainy the original image was! I especially wanted to throw in the towel once I got to rendering the hair (never my strong suit). Let’s hear it for perseverence!
To me, this portrait is a direct result of all the practice, practice, practice that began with the portrait studies of the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge. Even though the reference image had matte colours and little light information, I had completed enough portraits over the last few years to be able to fill in the blanks. There’s no way I would have been able to do this without having put myself through that “boot camp”!
The time has come to set aside landscapes and dive back into portraiture!
And wouldn’t you know it? I got so used to landscapes that I found this portrait to be a bit more of a challenge than I had anticipated. This image represents a few days of work, at least! Of course, I walked into it thinking “I’ll just keep it fresh, and loose, and, you know… painterly” and, well, THAT went out the window pretty quickly. I think it’s a leftover reaction to my art school days when we never had enough time to finish anything, and even if we did, we were always discouraged from painting anything that looked too realistic (“skillful”, some might say). With no teachers or peers around me, I can noodle to my heart’s content – and so I do!
Anyways, this is Yola, a model with a Russian modelling agency called Lumpen. Their entire roster is comprised of Real People, which I think is very cool.
I often think to myself that it would be so much easier if I could a) get excited about drawing buildings (haven’t really tried, but you never know – I might find I love it!), and b) not mind that I can’t see any horizon line. I’m a city-dweller, but I don’t find artistic inspiration in cities – because, honestly, how could cities ever compare with the St-Lawrence river and great big, puffy clouds?