Portrait #2: The Hot Chef

Well, to say that my husband is HOT would be true…but in this painting, the reference is more to how his skin tone turned out.  Looks like he’s been slaving over the stove too long.  The photo I worked from was back-lit.  I learned that this is an extremely difficult thing to paint.  Not only was it difficult to actually see from the photo the features of the face and tone variations, but it was just plain hard to paint back-lighting and have it be believable.  I WILL be trying this one again!  Perhaps the next one will improve, or perhaps not.  But I am learning so much about the colors on my palette (some I need to get rid of and some I need to add), how I typically go about painting transparent watercolor (and what I need to alter), what works and what doesn’t.  I’m realizing I have much to learn in controlling the amount of water in my brush…I can hear Skip Lawrence now, “Control your water!” he would say to us over and over again in the workshops I’ve taken from him.

The main thing I want to learn to do is: to paint the face and figure with the same kind of freedom and simplicity as I do in non-portrait/figure subjects.  For instance, here’s a section of the hat:

Lovely huh?  Beautiful color, free strokes, etc.  I want to achieve that in the face!!!  I didn’t get it this time.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  So I’ll try it again, sometime.

Oh, and here’s my sketch before applying watercolor…thought you might like to see that too!

I think I like the drawing better than the painting…which is my typical response to my artwork.  I’m determined to make a change there!  Not necessarily to have to like my paintings better than the drawings, but to have them be at least on the same playing field.  I wonder if 100 of these portraits will be enough?

0 thoughts on “Portrait #2: The Hot Chef

  1. Alex Tan says:

    Oh Wow! I really like working on back lit objects. I would always want to work from light to dark, front to back, but back lit objects are kinda the other way round, and usually you don’t know where to start. =)
    I think it’s a wonderful painting!

  2. Alissa says:

    Thanks for the different stages of the painting. Really interesting (I draw, not paint). I can see what you say you are trying to achieve, but am still in awe of the finished work

  3. Janene says:

    Jennifer, I suspect that if you put this away for a few weeks then look at it again, you may change your opinion. I like the portrait a lot–I think it has a lot of personality and life. The redness strikes me as depicting warmth of mood rather than an actual skin tone.

  4. Timaree (freebird) says:

    I like this picture. The hat is very loose as you say and the face is not. That makes me zero in on the face rather than the hat which is what you want right? I look at the drawing and look at the painting and I think the painting nails the drawing but is so much more colorful and wonderful. How did your husband like it?

    • jenpedwards says:

      Thanks a lot Timaree! My hubby liked it a lot. You are right about the less loose aspect in the face allowing it to be the focal point…I’m just still wanting a more abbreviated look. Like it took less strokes to get the same information across…does that make sense? An effortlessness…rather than so worked on.

  5. ffyrebird says:

    I understand what your aiming for, but I agree with Timaree. The contrast between the free, loose hat and more controlled face really makes the face the focus. I really like the painting, especially the colors in the hat versus the warmer skin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.