Friday, May 20, 2016

New Portrait, Part 2

Some time ago I posted an image of a portrait that I've had in progress for several months. I was trying to do it completely from life, without reference photos, rather in the way a portrait might have been done in the early 19th century. But as I wrote in that post, the model and I had difficulty connecting for sittings, which resulted in considerable delay. In the end I gave in and have been using a combination of digital photos with life sittings, although scheduling them has still been difficult.

Using photos--especially on a digital device--is a problem for me because photos tend to over-brighten the lights and lose the dark values in murk. That is, subtleties in skin tones and values are often completely lost for much of the image. For me, taking good quality reference shots is a considerable challenge. Some people use a computer to edit those things, but I'm not adept enough with photo-editing programs to do that.

In any event,  work has progressed sporadically on this one during the past couple of months but it's approaching the finish. The likeness is much improved, and the skin tones are too although the photograph still compresses values and flattens subtle color changes. The present state of the portrait is shown, left. 

Work remains to be done on the sweater and on the neck and chest, as well as final adjustments of skin color. Given the problems with photographs, all of these await a final life session.

A New Portrait
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