Everything about this realistic painting method requires patience, from proportioning the photograph to an appropriate size canvas, to painting the underpainting to glazing over it with color, a step I haven't taken yet. I will with these two women Waiting At The Gate.
I took the photo a year ago or so? Though I couldn't hear what they were talking about, their conversation was highly animated. Looked like gossip. The dark haired woman seemed to know the dirt--and it must have been one juicy story she was telling, for the woman sitting next to her was aghast! I took the shot with my iPad trying to look like I was reading
Then played with the subject off and on just for fun.
Fun turned serious, as I realized this subject was curious enough and challenging enough to hold my interest while I further explored the slow, but mostly calming, Venetian Painting Method--going beyond the grisaille stage into color glazes. I did a couple of graphite head studies and will probably do a few more paint studies to work out what counts, what doesn't in the composition.
My continued interest in these women over past months revealed something more I want from my portraits: I want them to pull the viewer in. I want them to arouse curiosity, imagination--mine--and the viewer's so that they are more than a visual record of a person's existence.
WHAT WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT? My first thought was that the mouthy brunette was recounting a dreadful argument she had with her husband and that's why she walked out, bought a ticket to Taos and was going to spend the rest of her life painting. Others might think something else?