I did my first portrait at age eight and used people in magazines for practice. Later, friends began volunteering to model for me. I use various grades of graphite and tissue, crumpled paper, Q-tips, fingers, powder and even sand to create texture, shadows and the softness of facial features. Portraits highlight how features compliment one another. I choose people that interest me, celebrities just allow comparison without adding a photo. A portrait of someone I've never met, is about the challenge or something specific that captivates me. If the subject is known to me, it's about capturing their personality.
Undeniably, Walter was for artistic challenge, but I wanted to capture his mischievous nature; his career mostly consisted of dramatic roles. It's disheartening that hardly anyone recognizes him anymore. Barbara has the perfect combination of unique features, that when combined define an exquisitely rare beauty.
Both subjects are interesting in very different ways. The bride has subtle gentle features and the innocence of youth, the fireman's features are bold and his entire face lifts into a welcoming smile.
Most people consider symmetrical faces more attractive, but that isn't very artistically challenging. Although I was eager to do both subjects, it took longer finding photographs with some complexity than the portraits themselves. The results were well worth the effort.
No portrait has been more exciting than Morgan Freeman; the complexity of his facial features and textures, his electrifying gaze and to find a photo with his hands was sheer joy! It's the only portrait that includes color, but this special place in my heart, deserved something special. Although Kevin is on my short list of favorite actors, my choice was based on a specific feature; eyes that draw you in. My 'favorites' must have one quality; to convey what their character is experiencing without speaking, moving or gesturing. Both possess this rare quality.
The first portrait is extremelly dear to me; she's my great-grandmother that I speak of in my welcome page. The young boy was commissioned.
I didn't expect either of these subjects to capture my attention. The whips of Johnny's hair and the printed shirt intrigued me. Oprah was adorned with huge jagged diamond earrings that distracted from the graceful curves of her face and features. My intention was to show just how naturally beautiful she is.
This portrait is a tribute to all officers killed in the line of duty and to those who put their lives on the line each day to maintain peace and provide safety.