Father and Son, SOLD

This painting (top) is a private commission I've been working on all week. My reference was a slightly overexposed flash photo. Of course, since the camera flashed, there are no shadows on the faces which makes it much harder to define the planes of the face. My favorite portraits have a strong light coming from the side. A basic understanding of the bones of the skull is helpful in painting portraits, especially if the reference is a flash photo.

Clothing can add a lot to a portrait. I loved doing the boy's striped shirt because the stripes help define the lay of the fabric. I would have liked a shirt with a few more details on the father.

I like to blur the background on portraits. Too much detail in the background of a painting can compete with the faces for attention and the faces should be the most important thing.

When pricing commissions, I usually consider how many faces and hands are in the photo. In this portrait I blurred the boy's hands, but showed more detail in the father's hand. Adult hands usually show the underlying bone structure which makes them look believable. Small children do not have a lot of definition to their hands.

My series of 12 portraits I did a while ago in fauvist style are a favorite of mine - see the category of "figures" on my website. Fauvism was a style of painting popular around the turn of the century and is characterized by wild colors and strong brushwork. My 12 people are mounted on my bathroom wall so they are all looking at you when you're using the facility. I know that's a little weird, but I really like them there. We call them the Bathroom People.


Vern Schwarz said...

Great job on this Carol. You handled all the tricky parts beautifully. Hands and smiles are all believable and well painted. Love the bathroom people.

Sheila said...

Wow! What a great rendering of the dad and son! How big is this Carol?

I love the 12 paintings framed and hung like they are. They become one awesome and eye catching piece.

Carol Nelson said...

The father/son painting is 11x14.
The Bathroom People are impressive as a GROUP because they're so colorful. I took them to two shows last summer and they created a lot of interest - but not commissions. They're a pain to hang because you have to get the spacing so close for the group effect.

Paintings by Irit Bourla said...

Both the father and sone and the group are great.
I love the idea of them watching you in the bathroom....If they just knew where the are hanging?

Carolina said...

Hi Carol!
I like this portrait very much, everything is so balanced, and the expressions are very beautiful. I think you nailed it!
And about the bathroom people, they seem to be enjoying the facilities :)
Best regards,