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.

Oh, I have missed you so much!

This picture is so awesome! It's not mine, though.

It has probably been more than six years since the last time I painted a portrait. And just a little less since I used oils on a demanding project for the last time. I did not mean for it to be this way, it just happened.

I have talked about using acrylics so much on this blog that some people might think I have something against oils. But nothing can be farther away from the truth. I was challenged by acrylics in college and when I moved across the globe I ended up living in tiny apartments (I still do!) with poor cross ventilation. So, taking a break from oils was somewhat necessary. I still bought all my oil supplies when I moved here, I just seldom used them.

At the beginning of the year I felt this "craving", a borderline physical need to paint with oils that I cannot really explain. I guess it's like when you remember a certain dish that you really enjoy but for some reason you have not had in a while. You know what I'm talking about, we all have one dish like this! It comes to your mind and it is so hard to stop thinking about. And if you happen to eat something that is even remotely related to it, you just feel worse because not only did it remind you of it, but it totally missed the mark and now you feel dissatisfied. Yes, I just compared oil painting with the best thing you ever ate. What did you expect? I'm an art geek!

So, I decided to paint something serious but fun, maybe just to see how my technique has evolved (if at all) after painting with acrylics for so long and having adjusted to their qualities. Maybe after six years, even though I have not painted as much, I would see some changes in the way I paint.

And guess what? I did. I am happy to report that now I'm actually slower! Ha! I did not see that coming... And that is why you cannot see the painting yet, it is not finished.

It will be done soon, though. And I have been documenting the process along the way, so it will be fun!