Oil/canvas, 18×24 inches
This painting was recently shipped to its new owner in Cincinnati. My client said she wanted something along the lines of “The Storyteller”. I photographed several ideas and this is the composition we settled on. A double portrait is never easy, but this one didn’t give me too much trouble. I’m pretty happy with the result. What I really enjoy about this painting is the presence of simultaneous similarities AND differences between the two girls. I know there’s a better way to say that (someone help me out). I enjoy the way they confront the viewer in a strong way, yet they are also peaceful and non-threatening. That’s not a quality I can plan for nor consciously try to communicate. It comes directly from the subject. It’s an example of one of the pleasant surprises that sometimes happens in painting. When the work starts to take on a life of its own, the artists knows she/he is on the right track.
On the teaching side of things, note the LACK of detail in the eyes. I particularly like how in the figure on the right the eye itself merges seamlessly into the lower eyelid. To me, the key to painting ANYTHING is just to paint what is absolutely necessary. I’m always surprised at the comments I get about my details. My surprise comes from the fact that every time I pick up a brush I am squinting down on my subject so as NOT to see the details. Now I know I paint more “details” than some artists but I hope you get what I’m trying to say here. I try to keep things relatively soft — almost slightly blurry. The number of razor sharp edges in this painting is probably five or less.
Until next time…