Monday, December 22, 2008

Painting Different Folks

This is my portrait for the current Different Strokes From Different Folks challenge. We were paired anonymously with another artist and given their photo. Since no one was going to see the reference photos, we could free ourselves up and use unusual colors or not even worry about getting a good likeness. Sounded like wild and crazy fun to me.

I had just finished rereading “Harley Brown’s eternal truths for every artist” when I received my photo reference, so I grabbed a piece of suede matboard and smeared pastel over it to “show it who’s boss,” as Harley advised. I was really impressed with myself for a couple of seconds, but I had no idea what to do next (I thought I had learned something reading that book, but it’s so easy to get distracted by the pictures). So I decided to block in the shapes as usual, but do it colorfully with blues, greens, yellows and oranges. Am I wild and crazy or what? It didn’t last long, though.

Here’s what I learned about myself: I have to get a good likeness. I can’t not do it. It makes me crazy. I started layering on normal colors and turned it upside down to check my proportions. Pretty soon my portrait was looking like the original photo. Just to compensate for my boringness, I put some wild color into the background. Plus, I’m slightly off and I’m not even going to correct it. Yep, that’s me, living on the edge.


10”x8”
Soft Pastel on Suede Matboard

One thing that did stick with me from Harley's book was this: "You can't go looking for style."

12 comments:

Edward Burton said...

Wonderful portrait, Kari - I loved reading about your adventure creating it. Thank you for the congrats., I am extremely pleased with Karin's portrait of me. NOW the pressure is on.

artbyakiko said...

What a beautiful portrait! You are so talented. Love the smooth transition of skin tones. Great work, as always!

Vern Schwarz said...

Beautiful job on this Kari. I've wiped mine out twice already. I don't know who this is, but I'm sure she'll love it. Happy Christmas to you and your family.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Edward, Akiko, & Vern! And happy holidays to you all. :)

Robin Maria Pedrero said...

I love your living on the wild side comment. That's me everytime I paint. I have a little battle but each time I make progress and have now reached a happy midway point. Lovely piece.

Torrie Smiley said...

Another beautiful portrait! I love it! I have just begun working on mine. Karin gave me such a wonderful photograph to work with, she must have felt pity on me since I don't normally paint people!

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday!

Torrie

Carol Schiff Studio said...

You are obviously a very talented portrait artist!

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Robin!

Thanks, Torrie! I'm looking forward to seeing your results! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, too. :)

Thank you, Carol!

ujwala said...

fabulously painted portrait and you've got a great likeness. i recognized myself immediately : ) thank you.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Ujwala! It was a pleasure painting you. :)

Jala Pfaff said...

This is awesome! Very 3-D. I just visited your blog for the first time and really like your work.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thank you very much, Jala!:)