Well, I never said these 100 portraits had to all be people! I just HAD to paint this guys’ portrait! He was beggin’ me: standing there in Mr. Whicker’s field chewing and staring at me. What I didn’t realize when I snapped his photograph, was the bright sun bleaching out the green grass and making one big shape of the grass, the fence behind, and the side of his face…totally cool for a painting! I wanted to achieve the connection between all these “things” into one large shape. And then to connect the dark shapes of his face, his body, and the green trees behind him. It was a terrific way to practice this whole thing of seeing the light & dark shapes and connecting them.
Then, after I painted the first one, I just had to try it in a different color scheme. I had a theory forming in my head from Portrait #10, that one can achieve a wonderful sense of light without having to “match” the dark value to just what you see in a photo. I noticed this in several of Charles Reid’s paintings from his book Watercolor Solutions. In it, there are two paintings of John Singer Sargent where Mr. Reid paints from a black & white photo of Mr. Sargent. None of the dark values in Charles Reid’s paintings are anywhere near as dark as the photograph’s. It struck me that the sense of light he achieved was just as strong…perhaps even better than having such dark shapes. I stumbled on this in the last Portrait (#10). And wanted to make another go of it with my new furry friend from the field above our neighborhood.
It’s fun to make a series of the SAME painting. I might just keep going with this…see what I come up with.