Monday, February 21, 2011

The three elements of a portrait

There are three attributes to a successful portrait:

Good likeness of the sitter
Original and personal interpretation by the artist
And finally and most importantly, the painting has to work as a good painting, irrespective of whether or not the viewer knows the subject.

Tonight we had a model for one long pose. I did a careful drawing and started washing in colour and then it was time for our pause. Sipping a cup of tea, a newspaper clipping of a Modigliani hanging on the wall caught my eye.

The wonderful simplicity inspired me to scrub off the paint and quickly sketch in this painting.


Sarah said...

Not sure Picasso bothered about physical likenesses so is that really one of the essences of portraits?

Maybe he was an exception.

I love what you did, the simple lines but the whole captures the peacefulness of the sitter.

peaches said...

The model was Sheryl St.Germain, a poet and writer spending her sabbatical in my winter cottage. She has bought the portrait, saying she was pleased by the quietness that comes across. She says that it's a place she has been trying to get to.