Thursday, January 31, 2013

brother, sister

I painted this brother & sister pair in December, commissioned as a Christmas gift for their mom:

I love doing these as gifts, they're such a unique and meaningful surprise.

And dad got amazing-gift-giver status of all time.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

girl with a pearl

More experimenting... this time with a cool palette. I wanted to emphasize the pale skin & bright blue eyes of this little pixie. What I love most is that candy-pink pout, though, just look:

I mixed some soft grays for my darks, and cool beiges for the lights, even though I was worried they'd come out too chalky. It was good to push myself beyond a straight rendering, into a more interpretive color scheme. I feel silly that this is such a challenge for me -- it's easier to paint EXACTLY WHAT I SEE. But that's also where I get very rigid and perfectionistic, so, maybe easier isn't the right word.

I've realized that my power as a painter is in deliberately omitting things. I'm striving for simplicity, efficiency -- how much can I strip away? -- but also an excitement & vitality in the colors themselves. I want something unexpected but still harmonious.

It's amazing how much practice goes into doing less.