Finish of fellow with pipe



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.

8 comments:

Frank Gardner said...

You are absolutely right about the experience being the reward. I feel the same way.
The dark background worked for me. It could have been multiple light sources. The lighter one works just as well, and makes sense. He has the look of a professor without even reading that.
The hand is much better and the ring adds that touch like you said.

ChrisB said...

Oh Susan - You know I love your work, but this one just blows me away. The technical details are perfect as always, but I can feel his energy and the life within. I celebrate your talent and life that eminates from this painting. I told you that I admired the portraits of Alice Neal - but I have to admit I hadn't looked at her work for a long time and now that I've gone back, I'm not that crazy about them anymore - well, a girl can change her mind. :) Here stuff is a little to dark for me now. I much prefer a more positive, lively, good energy painting these days.

Susan Carlin said...

I just got an email from the 'fellow with the pipe,' and he says this: "Hi Susan, My initial reaction to the painting is WOW!. I like it a lot." ... "I'm looking forward to seeing the brush strokes but I've great confidence in you."
A portrait artist lives with her heart in her throat until she hears, "I love it." Now I can breathe.

indiaartist said...

This is wonderful. I can just imagine your feelings after you heard wow from him. Congrats.

A Painting A Day by Diana Marshall said...

Yes, this is definately a 'wow' portrait and it's such a reward when the client loves it too. I love your loose brush strokes they are perfection.

Dianne Mize said...

I just knew he would like it. There's no way he couldn't like it. It is splendid, Susan; just splendid. You are growing by leaps and bounds and lucky us, we get to watch!

Jo Castillo said...

Supurb! Very nice work, Susan. No wonder he loves it! :)

Susan Carlin said...

Aww... I love you guys. Thank you Frank and Chris and indiaartist and Diana and Dianne and Jo. I swear I love all the parts of portrait painting, but the appreciation of the one who commissioned it... that's got to be the cherry on top!