Chop Check

I told you I like oils...

Click on the picture to go to the FB album!

It's been a while, yet it felt very natural. I never considered myself a portrait artist, but it has always been an interest of mine. After all, my family (especially my grandfather) is very fond of portraiture.

Portrait painting to me is a whole beast on its own. There is nothing richer in color nuances and overtones than human flesh. The way it absorbs and reflects light is just... an absolute delight to paint. Not to mention the challenge of capturing the essence and character of the actual person. One could spend a whole lifetime doing this and still it would not be enough!

I was very pleased to notice how different my approach to painting portraits is now. When I said in an earlier post that now I am a slower painter, I was just partially kidding. I am slower because I break down the subject in more layers now, trying to achieve more depth. And I am very satisfied with this first try.

There are a couple of things I noticed I should work on in the near future, though:

  • I do need to regain some agility. I used to be much more secure and bold with my strokes.
  • Classical, gradually colored portraits are good and all, but I also need to work on life subjects and one sitting portraits (this is a long term objective, since I am very rusty).
  • I love to do the half finished clothes/background thing, but at some point I will purposely paint a portrait with a more defined background and figure.

In the meantime, I am going to start drawing and painting more subjects from life and take it from there. Now that I think about it, when I first came to America, I considered a career in portraiture. Well, I guess we'll see what happens!

I hope you like the painting.

What I’ve been up to...

As usual, I decided to corner myself into painting something demanding with an impossible deadline for my next project. I put together nine 8 x 10” canvases and painted them with acrylics from start to finish, in a very realistic manner. Even though the final product is very commercial looking, the idea behind it is based on a contemporary style concern.

The idea was to exploit photographic close up images as ways to describe and define an object (or a concept) without having just one angle capturing the whole object. You could say this painting is about the whole being more than the sum of its parts and say each picture implies the subject's polysemous nature. Or you could just say they’re pretty roses...

Either way, I purposely tried to get angles that allowed me to at least throw off the untrained eye a little bit. I tried to compose each one of these images like abstract paintings so if they were ever shown individually, they remained a little undefined. Given the fact that I was not very sure about what I wanted from these pictures when I took them in the first place (almost three years ago), I can say I’m very happy with the way they turned out.

From a technical point of view, I wanted to start pushing myself into painting more realistically with acrylics. I have been conducting research for a contemporary project for the last four years and at one point I concluded realism was a very effective way to illustrate it. This proved to be a golden opportunity to not only finally leave my oil crutches behind but to also experiment with canvas boards, which until now I had never used before.

For this project's album, please 

click here...

Chop Check 1

I noticed my memory needed a little help when it came to painting flowers. So I picked up some sunflowers at the store for a quick still life study.

I like the way the flowers turned out, but I realized how rusty I am when it comes to achieving a couple of textures. A more detailed study is in order, for sure. I noticed the condensation formed inside the vase blurred a lot of lines and gave the vase an overall opaque quality. Next study will probably focus on different textures of inanimate objects.

I especially like the little nod to Van Gogh I performed with the glass vase. If you like Van Gogh, you know what I'm talking about... For this and other works' step by step photo album, please click