22 July 2011


Yesterday Shannon came up to the studio to sit for a portrait. We met in the accounting intro class.

First I did a drawing of her, using 2B pencil and India ink wash:

And then a 16x16" oil painting. At first I did not like it - haha, almost always the case with portraits for me! As time passes they inevitably grow on me,and already I'm liking this one more than yesterday.

Shannon has quite a delicate face, which I feel this painting does not convey. I can tell you why:
It's partly because I used a wax medium with the paint, which has a heavy consistency.
It's also partly because of the many raised lines on the canvas. Usually I draw into the paint with a China marker, which gives a wonderful delicacy of line, but this time I didn't draw much because the raised lines interfered with the smooth movement of my drawing tool.

It's also because I am not so interested in exact depiction. I like to work very quickly (this painting took a little less than an hour from start to finish) because I like the spontaneous emotional reaction I have to my sitter. These quick paintings have a fresh immediacy that would be lost if the sittings were prolonged and I concentrated on some conservative notion of accuracy.

Besides, the more I discover about life, the more I realize that nothing is accurate anyway. It's all in the mind of the beholder, so to speak.

This is the raised-line drawing on the canvas before I painted Shannon's portrait on it.


novembergrass said...

A wonderful, powerful energy in this portrait. She looks like she has something to say. -Sue

Verna Vogel said...

thanks Sue!
yes indeed, she does have something to say, I got a glimpse of a very interesting history with this woman.