Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"100 Faces, No. 94"

4 x 4"
oil on masonite

Way back when I started the 100 Faces, I knew hair was one of my challenges - how much detail does it take to make sense. It's tempting to overwork it, but the key, I think, is to define it as much as the rest of the painting. Andrew Wyeth's portraits of Helga are a good example - those intimate, close up portraits are so beautifully rendered with tiny strokes of details in the face, the sweaters, the strands of hair - yet, in his looser 'studies' of her, it's more about the setting and the body - the hair is more an impression.

I started adding more patterns in this man's braids and realized I didn't like it. Then it would be all about the braids. If the face was done more realistically, then it would have matched the overall feel of the painting - yet I prefer, with these small, quick studies, a more painterly result.


Crystal Cook said...

Gosh that is just incredible. I think this is my new favorite. :)

carol morgan carmichael said...

I think this is perfect. Just love what you do with skin tones and I don't think this hair is overworked.
I have thought about you and your skill a lot the last two days as I trudged through a painting with faces. Maybe if I challenged myself like you have done it would not be as hard for me.

Anonymous said...

beautiful beautiful beautiful!


This is just is O-V-E-R T-H-E T-O-P