I finally finished the “Aunt Joyce & Jeni” painting. There were some big changes in the last stage, where things really needed to changed. The shape of my aunt’s face has some sharper edges. I had to really pay attention and go back and redo her glasses, add highlights to her forehead and nose, and added some more “meat” to her nose. I try to stay as loyal to the photo I painted from, then put my own interpretation and express the way I feel about it. I wanted the red hair to shine, the green background to be abstract and complement the more realistic faces. The couch they were sitting on, yes I wanted that to be abstract too. The real highlights for me are as follows:
- The baby’s face I love the best, because the eyes and mouth expression I worked on to get right.
- The greenish highlights on my Aunt Joyce’s face, completely accidental, never did highlights this way before. I kept it in there.
- Used a palette knife for Jeni’s outfit.
- I used many techniques, from realistic facial expressions to abstract backgrounds and clothes, this painting has everything I enjoy about painting, and why I love art.
- I wanted to use some Russian impressionistic influences, which are to utilize darker colors and somber moods. Yet I wanted some joy in the paining as well.
- This is my first portrait paining with two subjects. I was paying attention to the composition first. Composition is like the foundation for a building. If it’s not done right, the rest of the building, or painting crumbles. And believe me, I had to readjust.
- I took my time more and was more patient. Sometimes I’m too critical of myself, but I was determined to make this the best painting I could. As an artist, you owe it to yourself to make the best results possible.
So there’s the final tamale, another job well done, and I can’t wait to get to the next one. This painting is a tribute to my Aunt Joyce who passed on in 1995 and inspired me to be an artist when I wasn’t quite ready. Now I am.