The incredible lightness of being

One of the hardest things to do in portraiture is to catch the essence of a person. Features are bad enough, but to actually catch personality is the trick that everyone who ever painted a portrait is wanting to do.
I have been very fortunate in my life to know people of all ages, and it pleases me that Alexander is in my acquaintance. He positively radiates joy and has an unflappable attitude. I present to you my take on his face.

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Tiger look out

Tiger, the mighty hunter, the largest cat in the world, you need to look out. You need to use your wits to stay alive. You always have, but now it’s even more important, with threats coming from every direction by humans who are overrunning your habitat.
You are one of the most beautiful animals that creator ever thought up. A world without you is unthinkable.
This tiger is for sale, and all proceeds will go directly to helping other tigers.
This painting measures 11″ x 14″ and it is for sale for $200.00

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All smiles

dalesmiletOn a roll after painting Theresa yesterday, I painted another face. I was fortunate to have gotten the reference photo, taken in natural light, which is the most important consideration for a painted portrait. The smile is one of the most ubiquitous facial poses we see, but it is the hardest to paint. Smiles are the result of many different muscles contracting, if you don’t do a smile right, it looks like a grimace, not a desired effect. The next challenge in this painting is that I had just painted a young mother, in the bloom of life. Even though she and my subject here have very close to the same skin color, I could not use the same colors on his face, they would look unnatural. I am pleased with the smile and the colors, I need another subject now!

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Glowing Motherhood

Needing to get back to painting some portraits, I picked some of my favorite people to paint. When I start a portrait, it’s always scary because I don’t know it it’s going to turn out ok or not. I usually draw my subject more than once, to get to know the lines in their face. Last night, as I completed the second sketch, I knew I had her. Wonder who my next victim will be?

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Another Acrylic portrait painted in the style of Chris Crites

Once again I return to this method of painting a face. This is a portrait of my heart side, a man I recently became reacquainted with.

This painting method is incredibly useful for learning a face. It helps me see midtones and shadow, and keeps me from painting with the left side of my brain. A vigorating exercise which helps me see in ways I couldn’t before and keeps me guessing until the very end. I keep all of the portraits I painted this way in a book. Maybe some day my descendants will get a kick out of looking through them.

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