Friday, January 13, 2012


I've decided to do all of the underpaintings for the first four portraits before painting. The cigar will give "mini" Portrait No 2 a little attitude. It's viewing images like this that make you wonder what these people must have been like in life. Next up will be the first female image.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Portrait No. 1

Here is the subject of portrait No. 1. Right away you can see why I want to paint this. The guy has a great face. After cropping the photo I made a drawing of it which was then transferred on to Ampersand Gessoboard.

An underpainting done with Burnt Umber acrylic paint to pick out all the patterns of lights and darks. The face looks a bit narrow here. When I took the photo the painting must have been at a slight angle. The close up looks a bit better.

What should I call this series?

I'm a huge fan of Daguerrotype and Ambrotype photographs. Early photography is the closest thing we'll ever have to a time machine. In addition to hundreds of Civil War photographs I've also downloaded hundreds of Photographs of civilian images. Studio photographs are not only comprised of the wealthy, but tradespeople and common laborers as well. These black and white images are deceiving as well. From the looks of them it's easy to think they were all or mostly clothed in drab boring colors. A while back I thought to do a series of miniature portraits based on early 19th century studio photographs. not only will these "mini" ( 6" X 6" ) portraits give me more practice, it might breathe a bit more life into what appear drab images, though they're far from that.

The four images above have been cropped to only include the head, shoulders, and possibly a hat or some other sort of head covering. After completing these additional portraits will be added between other projects. I'm mostly looking for great faces that have lots of character or clothing that does not appear that common in most photographs.

I'd like to give this series a name but have yet to come up with anything. Any thoughts?