Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Portraits...

Barbara Krans Jenkins   charcoal and pastel on paper   12 x 17.5
are a sticky wick.  I have seen seasoned portrait artists put their materials away in defeat after an unsatisfying session.  Likeness is illusive.  Sometimes, it seems that all of the pieces/parts are in the right place yet the overall work is just not right.  True, true, true.  I love the human face and the spirit it offers to me.  For me, doing a portrait of Barbara Krans Jenkins was a daunting task.  In my mind, her spirit is most apparent in her smiling eyes.  All strokes lead to that.  Also an enduring softness.  The demonstration at St. Paul's was difficult, as all eyes lead to the work on the easel.  I prefer to work incognito.  Talking and drawing are polarized tasks for me.  Getting into my zone was impossible.  I worked in soft vine charcoal from the inside out.  Although the work was satisfactory at the end of the demo, the overall feel was missing to me.  The softness was missing.  I finished the work at home with the aid of a photography and many overlays.  Subsequent layers were done using harder vine charcoal that allowed for a softer lighter line.  Some pastel was added for a lighter value, as the paper was a toned blue-green-gray. 

Barbara is happy.  She says her forehead curl is three-dimensional.  Rick says that curl is a "Superman Curl".  I am happy.

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