I'm pleased with my finish on this painting, an 11"x 14" oil on stretched canvas. I had said something on Tuesday about perhaps keeping this version and painting another for the client who might prefer a tighter/smoother rendition. What I realized today, AGAIN, is that I didn't need to keep the painting-I had the experience and the breakthrough. My finish here is a blend of both- some of the pure strokes left alone, some tamed to a previous standard.
I had to return the composition closer to the original photo references- with the light coming over his shoulder on the viewer's right. Dark there didn't make sense with the light on his face. I also replaced his hand with one from another reference and kept some foreshortening with it.
I got to meet this man and his wife, visitors to the gallery on their trip to San Antonio a few days ago, and have exchanged a few emails with him in the preparation for this painting. I think the "feel" is right now. He's a physics professor with a quick, lively mind, and very, very observant. I love that he was concerned that I show his wedding ring. I hope he'll be pleased.
by Susan Carlin on 5/08/2008