Though there are no photos of my recent portrait commission painting flops for you, the gentle reader to see, they stare at me every time I go in the studio. It's been so frustrating to not be able to figure out how to make the "flops" right -- even to the point of wondering if I even know how to paint AT ALL. I'm this close to apologising profusely and giving the patron back her down payment. Only a huge chunk of it has already been spent on supplies for the flops so I would have to come up with some cash to make up the difference. Not cool.
But today....today Hilary agreed to pose for me, God bless her. Not quite remembering how to begin, it was a shaky start. Hilary was patient, even encouraging.
When I paint from a photograph, my technique is different. It's easier to take more time sketching and measuring to make sure that the proportions are correct, and noses, lips and eyes are in the right place. So far, when painting people from life, I have to find the person's space first. And then sketch a loose outline.
And when that's mostly well adjusted, start adding color and re-define the outline, shadows, highlights over and over and over.
Without a doubt, the portrait commission has been whipping my tail - very discouraging, but painting today was a different story.
It was at about this point in the painting process this afternoon, that I thanked Hilary for the 45th time, and realized that TODAY - RIGHT NOW - was a wonderful, even fantastic experience. With a heart full of emotion, I burst into tears right in the middle of painting.
Hilary tried hard not to laugh, but I didn't care. My whole mind, body, soul, and spirit was filled to the brim with gratitude.
And this is it. This is beyond my understanding. Painting today was a true gift from the Creator. There's no other way to explain it.
I'll adjust some things over the next few days. The background is still in an incomplete state. Her nose and skin tones here and there might need some re-adjustment, but for the most part, this is it.