Daniel Goldman

Artwork

Painting my father from a photograph

art posts
Stewart traveling 2016

Stewart traveling 2016

 

This portrait was based on a photograph of my father, though I took some liberties, particularly with the background.  Here is the photograph:

IMG_20150617_155911054crop

 

I started by making a sketch:

IMG_20160423_124532069_HDRpercrop

 

 

 

 

 

Then, I gave painted the canvas with a rather orangey mixture of burnt sienna and raw umber, and did a charcoal drawing on that.

IMG_20160424_112521257percrop

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards, I did an underpainting using terra verde.

IMG_20160424_141108770_HDRper2crop

 

 

 

 

 

Both of these choices caused me quite a bit of trouble as the work continued. The orange proved very dominant, and the green gave the skin a pale and pallid color.IMG_20160501_143330491percrop

 

 

 

 

 

Painting the shirt red seemed to help with the skin color, giving it some warm tones to relate to, and darkening setting helped subdue the orange.  A lot of the rest of my time was spent moving the figures around in the background. My original aim had been to make them anonymous, but this proved intriguingly difficult.   IMG_20160506_161256297percrop

 

 

 

 

 

Shortly after this, I showed the painting to my friend Jiska, whose observations regarding the light on the figures led me to make some changes that helped unify the painting.  In the end, I felt fairly satisfied with the painting.  Although it felt somewhat limiting to work from a photo, I nonetheless felt that there were still plenty artistic choices left to make.  I enjoyed designing a context for the figure and had a great time thinking about and trying to present the intricacies of my father’s expression.

1 Comments on “Painting my father from a photograph”

  1. That’s a wonderful painting of Stewart, and an excellent description of how you did it.
    You were always a very good painter. I think now you are a great painter.
    You’re looking more and more like your father, by the way. :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *