My first Palette Knife Portrait!








Well, this has been an exciting day for me. It's 4:30 now and at 11 or so I started this 16 x 20 oil on canvas panel. I've had so much fun painting it! Of course, it's been frustrating and I've had to repaint several areas because the knife did something I didn't expect and because the surface is so thick with paint, it's tricky to add a nuance without destroying what's underneath. But I do like the results and can't wait to dive in on the next subject !

I used a photo of a woman who visited the gallery maybe two months ago. When she walked in I started begging for photographs of her. She took mercy on me and let me snap a few. I loved this one of her arms crossed and with the viewpoint from below. She was wearing pink in the photo but I thought it undermined her power somewhat so I painted her in red. I also removed her purse and extended her hair down in front, as if perhaps a braid.

This experience rates a very loud WAH HOOOO!

26 comments:

"JeanneG" said...

You are so funny. I can just imagine you standing at the studio door with camera in hand waiting to pounce on unsuspecting persons who timidly enter. Then they see you with the camera and try to run, but you have already locked them in so you can beg for photos. Nice job. I do like the red top better. What made you extend the hair down lower? Just curious.

Ann Reyes said...

Wow, Susan!! I love it! It doesn't matter what instrument is in your hand; you can come up with a wonderful portrait! Great job!

Cindy said...

Love the effects of your knife painting! Do more please!

Barbara Pask said...

Great job Susan, if you're talented as you are I guess the tool doesn't matter. Brush, knife, maybe next time your toes, lol.

Angela Fehr said...

This painting is all about power and strength. Not just the red shirt and the pose but I think the palette knife was the only way to go in interpreting that power. Way to go, Susan!

Deborah Ross said...

This is great! I can't believe it's the first time you've done it. I would be terrified of trying this. Congratulations on a wonderful portrait.

Susan Carlin said...

JeanneG, I'm not QUITE so bad as that... but almost. When a great face comes in, what's a girl to do but beg for photos? I brought the hair down the front of her shirt because I thought it made for a stronger design and broke up her front in an interesting way.

Susan Carlin said...

Ann and Barbara, thank you for your vote of confidence about my choice of painting instruments... it's funny that a couple of times today I described using a palette knife was like painting with my left elbow! Toes.... no way.

Susan Carlin said...

Cindy, I can't WAIT do do more. Tomorrow's my much-needed day off, though, so it'll be Monday before I try it again. I'll be sure to post my efforts.

Susan Carlin said...

Deborah, thank you! But it's just paint... nothing to be afraid of except getting it on your shirt, and dish detergent usually gets it out. I'm so glad you commented, because it's led me to you- another portrait painter!

Susan Carlin said...

Angela, I'm so glad you agreed about the feeling of her power and strength. And you know, the palette knife did seem to emphasize that. How about that!

E. Floyd said...

Hi, I have been lurking for awhile. This painting really caught my eye! I love the gesture and energy in the way you handled the palette knife. A wonderful painting. Have you had an opportunity to share the end result with the lady?

Susan Carlin said...

Not yet, eLIZabeth f., but I'll look for her email address tomorrow and see what she thinks. Glad you came out of lurking status!

Dianne Mize said...

All the others beat me to it, everything they've said I echo. I JUST knew that's what you were doing. B R A V O !!!

Karen Hargett said...

WAH HOOOO is right! WOW this is a powerful painting full of strength. I love red shirt and the colors that play off of each other in her face. The braid was a good touch too. Great job Susan I can see why you are so excited. Can't wait to see your next one!

Susan Carlin said...

Thanks, Dianne, for the Bravo...you psychic thing, you.

Susan Carlin said...

Karen, those colors reflected into her face were so fun to try to get into the painting, so thanks for mentioning them. Thanks, too, for agreeing about the braid. You'd have thought I'd had drunk 4 pots of coffee today, I was so excited all through the painting of this one!

theresamillerwatercolors said...

This is a powerful painting: the position of her arms, the color of her clothes, the determination in her eyes. You captured the feeling so well!

Bonnie Mann said...

I love it! This is a powerful painting! Congrats on your success with the palette knife. You continue to amaze me.

Dar Presto said...

This is exquisite, Susan. You offer all the dignity and tenderness that you do in commission work, with an added dynamic of energy and expression. There is a truth and weight in the way you sculpt form and faces. Her arms are beautiful!

Amy Sullivan said...

You bet !!! WoW ! This portrait has all the power it needs. She was the perfect subject for this, so strong!Susan, you are so good!
WAH HOOOO, to you TOO!
Amy

Stacey Peterson said...

This is a fantastic painting Susan!! The reflected lights show so beautifully since they haven't been blended with a brush, and the composition, mood, drawing, and color are just so strong and confident. Looks like an award winner to me - you should enter it in a show or two! =)

Susan Carlin said...

Wow. I guess we all could use some images of strong women in our lives, huh? I suspect that's at least half the reason for the positive response to this painting. Thank you Theresa, Bonnie, Dar, Amy and Stacey, for Wah Hooooing with me! I was trying to relax today so I could go back to the studio tomorrow ready for action, so went to the movies. Just came back from Mama Mia. OMG! I'm completely wrung out from the laughing and crying I couldn't help doing all through it. If anyone needs a shot of exuberant woman power in her life, get thee to a theater NOW. I'm going to take a nap.

David Lobenberg said...

Palette knife portrait?...wow...you are indeed a stud (or whatever the female equivalent is)!! And with oil no less (remember?...I'm an acrylic artist)! Good show, and thanks for the progressive photos. Almost forgot...there's a woman here in Sacramento that does oil portraits with her fingers!! Don't know how safe this is. Maybe she has latex gloves on. She does a fantastic job! She too is a stud!!

family-of-five said...

just beautiful. your use of light in the painting is lovely--I especially like the close-up shot of her face.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Beautifully 'detailed' for palette knife work. I noticed the "braid as design element", composition, right away as I am just starting to think in design terms while painting.
Love your perseverence in getting a shot of her