Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Marcie, 18"x14", oil on linen
Collection of Mrs. Marcella Paddock

Marcie is an oil painting major who graduated from the Academy in May. She has been coming in to paint since last year. I painted Marcie on a Belgian linen that I sized with rabbit-skin glue and then primed with 3 coats of lead-white to give sufficient surface texture.

I must say that, for whatever the reason, I had a rather inauspicious beginning painting her; I can see it in the uneasy brush strokes shown in the first stage of the painting. It might have had something to do with her unusual appearance of having a mass of wildly red wig over her head.

Or maybe I was overwhelmed with many things going on in the pose that I found interesting and was eager to capture them all in a short time — red hair, an earring, a white scarf and the black blouse. But in the end, I was pleased to be able to turn things around and arrive at a satisfying result.

From the beginning of the pose, Marcie kept her lips tightly pulled to the corners of her mouth. I waited to see if she would loosen up later because I was afraid that it might end up giving her an angry expression in the painting. But she managed to keep them tight all throughout the pose.

So I just had to paint the way she looked while trying to avoid an unpleasant expression. I think I was able to do so, though she now has a bit of a determined or even feisty appearance.

Toward the end of the painting, I painted the green backdrop more intensely than it appeared in the set up in order to accentuate her red hair.

Tom Herzberg, seeing the painting the next day, asked me who the "girl" in the painting was. I guess he shared my opinion that Marcie looked in the painting as she might have looked a few years ago, when she was a younger girl.

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