Friday, March 13, 2009
A long time ago I realized that I had an affinity for doing portraits. Pretty early on in art school I was able to get a good likeness in charcoal. Does it take a certain empathy with the human being, maybe not. I don't think John Singer Sargent was a real lover of many of his subjects. For me, it helps. I remember doing a double portrait, husband and wife. He was a jolly soul and easy to paint; the wife was a lot harder -- 40 miles of bad road. I had to think to myself, well, she's somebody's mother and grandmother -- so look at it like that and forget how crabby she looks. It worked and I sold it!! This particular watercolor shown above is done from a black and white photo taken at the turn of the century --- the 1800s to the 1900s --- of a flower seller in London. It's done on a 10 X 14" sheet of Canson watercolor paper.