November 10, 2013

Some New Portraits

So here are a couple of recent portraits that I did at the Friday portrait painting open studio at Bay Arts. People, figures, portraits are really what I like doing best and I hope to continue to try to improve at doing them.

One thing that I have considered myself quite ignorant of are the various painting surfaces that different artists like to use. I've always painted on cotton canvas (or duck), canvas board or canvas paper. They're cheap and readily available. As a comparison, it always seemed to me that if Tiger Woods picked up my store bought clubs he could still play a heck of a round. Similarly, if Sargent or some other great painter used the canvases that I used he could still produce a masterpiece. So I figured, what's the big deal? 

Anyway, I always hear and read about artists who choose to paint on linen. I'd never painted on linen and so I thought I should find out what all the fuss is about. This past summer I participated in a workshop with Stanka Kordic who is a very fine figurative artist. She had mentioned how she paints on linen which is glued to board. She gets it from a company called New Traditions Art Panels. I decided to check out their website. They offer lots of different grades of canvas and boards, which in my case made it hard to know where to begin. Fortunately they had what they called a sample pack of about six different surfaces, primed and glued to gator foam, which is a denser, sturdier version of what I knew as foamcore presentation board. I thought this would be a great way to go ahead and experiment to see if there really were any differences or advantages to painting on linen. I went ahead and ordered a sample pack and did this latest portrait trying one which was about in the middle of the pack in terms of texture or weave. I do have to admit that I really like painting on it. It's hard to explain but the feel of the paint going onto the surface was just a better experience, and I liked the way the painting turned out. But that could just be coincidence.

Oh and I also included some close-up details so you could see some of the texture and brushwork better. 

Hope you like them.



"Bill"
Oil on Canvas - 16" x 20"



"Bill"
Detail



"Michael"
Oil on linen panel - 11" x 14"




"Michael"
Detail

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