First self-portrait in paint. That was kind of painful and a bit weird. I realized how complex my eye colour is.. blue-gray with green and even a touch of brown. Not that obvious to paint on an 8″ x 8″!
The skin looks a bit splotchy, I guess I got too used to paint animal fur! To be fair, my reference photo didn’t have much contrast and the light was pretty flat. I still wanted to use that photo, because I liked it and I needed a front view to complete our family portrait. Ross’ individual portrait is facing right and Cole’s is facing left.. so, the front view just made sense!
Yesterday, I got into the process of updating and tweaking the photos of my art work so that they would be more true to the pieces. I also needed to do this in order to get some art cards printed!
It has been quite a challenge to get back into painting about a year and a half ago. I’ve decided to have a look back at what I’ve done and it’s really interesting to see the progress.
I came to the conclusion that I definitely want and need to be more productive..
At first, this blog was supposed to be about daily painting. It worked for the first few paintings, but I quickly realised that it wasn’t going to be possible to keep that up with my schedule and the level of detail that I was trying to achieve. But, I am thinking about giving it another try! It would be a great challenge and learning experience. I would really like for my pieces to be more painterly. So, maybe doing a few daily small paintings and doing a big one once in a while. We’ll see!
I finally found some time today to finish this portrait of my husband Ross.
He is sitting in the shade, speckled with light. I liked the content, contemplative state that he was in when the reference picture was taken. We had recently moved to Victoria and this was one of the moments when we realized that we really made a great move.
Ross has a degenerative neurological disorder called Friedreich’s Ataxia. It affects balance and coordination. The energy reserve of each cell (the mitochondria), is not producing enough of a certain protein. So, it leaves him very tired, very quickly. Especially since he has to overcompensate for his lack of coordination and balance for every move he makes. He has been in a wheelchair for about 15 years now. Moving to Victoria (no snow), from Quebec City (lots of snow!), has been like a new found freedom for him. He is not restricted to only move around in the summer and he is loving it here. We all are.
He’s my heart and my soul. He’s such a positive, quiet force in our family. Despite his disorder, he never complains, he just does what he does. He’s also an awesome father. We’ve been together for almost 20 years now. What a journey!
Well, I finally decided to bite the bullet and paint a portrait! My subject is my 11-year old son Cole. I was (suprisingly!) able to take a picture of him in a contemplative state. He’s a little dynamo, so that doesn’t happen often!
I remember now why I was scared to do a portrait: it’s hard! Haha
My son is a national level diver with the Boardworks team here in Victoria. So, I’ve spent many many many hours on the side of the pool and it is an integral part of our family life.
I love to watch the divers. They are so graceful, yet so strong and powerful and must control every movement with precision and finesse. I plan on eventually do a nice series of diving paintings. However, as I quickly discovered today, painting on such a small format is far from ideal for this type of painting. I definitely need to move on to a bigger size for the next diving piece.
The background of the picture was a pretty blah yellow green, way too similar in value to the my son’s skin tone. So, I tried to go for a contrasting color.
This is slowly bringing be towards my dreaded (but exciting!)next subject: portrait!