Monday, February 9, 2009

Jennifer, 18"x14" oil on linen

I was very much looking forward to painting Jennifer because of her different ethnic skin color, which I could explore in the painting. After the painting was finished, a student said that the painting was not as cute as Jennifer. I agree with her.

But at the same time, I am pleased with the outcome of the painting, which shows a variety of colors that are subtly different from those of the Caucasian models that we are so used to.

The nice thing about a head-study painting as opposed to a commissioned portrait is that I am not obligated to produce a painting that is palatable to the sitter. I can enjoy my artistic license, whether it be color, expression or background.

I carefully kept intact the white background of the lead-white canvas to accentuate the contrast against Jennifer's dark hair, and to let the white stripes of her blouse blend into it.

Jennifer started dozing off noticeably during the last hour of the session. When she decided to text in an attempt to stay awake for the last half hour, we let her; although she looked down on and off at her phone, at least she stayed awake and kept her head relatively still for us to finish painting.

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