Most of the watercolor portraits I have undertaken have been painted from life....from a model. In our watercolor class, participating artists voted to attempt a portrait from a photo. Of course, there are always pros and cons. Painting from life offers up more in the way of interpretation and, for me, a much simpler way of seeing. Painting from photos can get just too itty-bitty for me, as the work always progresses into finer and finer detail...towards the likeness offered by the photo itself. The challenge in painting from a photo, for me, is to keep the work expressive and fresh, when re-painting passages is always an option. Painting from life usually doesn't offer enough time for the portrait to be overworked. I chose to paint mon mari, and snapped a photo just after he had triumphed in our winter-nightly game of Scrabble.
The beard is the white paper which has been cherished and retained. The hat and shirt have been kept simple. I am pleased.