I decided that I would find images of artists whose work I admire, and then attempt to paint some of their portraits, for practice. I had a few photos of Pierre Bonnard, and thought I'd have a go at it. I like Aaron Shikler's assessment of portraiture (above!)
I honestly think I AM learning to paint, but one of the biggest hindrances for me is that I can't draw to save my life! Hahaaa! I do think that if you have a good initial drawing, your painting has a pretty good chance of being a success...(or it at least has a much better probability of success.) (Note Bonnard's beautiful colors and lovely depictions of daily activities such as below:)
Needless to say, I can see tons of flaws in terms of accuracy here in my attempt: the shape of the face is wrong, the length of the nose is off, the eyes are set incorrectly within those glasses frames, the forehead, (which I adjusted and should have left as I'd originally sketched it,) is now too low, and the jawline isn't right. The shoulders are set wrong, (what the heck was I thinking!) the jacket lapels are totally out of wack, and so, given all these bits, the end result has wound up a totally different person,...
But...despite all of that, I'm still pleased with the overall portrait practice. This is a fun exercise, and I'm learning! And it's great practice. Let's just say I painted Bonnard's close cousin! Another of his beautiful paintings below:
Ted Nuttall warned us not to paint someone we know, because he said we'd set ourselves up for frustration. I realize people will tell me the artistic interpretation is what counts, and all that, but let's face it--if you're attempting to do a person's portrait, it'd be nice if there was at least a general likeness as the net result! But I'm not troubled by that here...if anything, I'm more amused.
I'm always fascinated by the way I'll makes lots of observations, as I'm sketching and painting, and yet the finished portrait winds up becoming a totally different person. (I'd like to attempt the photo above, as it's very clear and he's a different age here.)
Another beautiful Bonnard painting full of vibrant color--he often depicted views out of doors and windows from interior rooms:
"I presume, sir, in painting your beautiful portrait, you took your idea of me from my principles, and not from my person." (--Abraham Lincoln)
4 days ago