Saturday, December 6, 2008

Commissioned portraits,... I love 'em, I hate 'em

  There's nothing as motivating as starting a new portrait. A new project, a new face, and no doubt, a new set of challenges. Fearlessly (and sometimes a bit recklessly) I launch forth on my latest project, all confidence and optimism....
 "Can you make me thinner?" ...But of course!
"We like Emma's eyes in this photo and her smile in that one. Can you do that?" ....Not a problem.
"Can you, can you, can you?"...yes, yes and YES!! 

Reality check! I have just blithely committed myself to many hours of tortuous and tedious extra work that is definitely NO FUN!
And then there's the matter of photos that don't show enough detail when enlarged to a workable 8X10, or the little boy who looks  like a different kid in each of 20 reference photos. "Will the real Kyle please come forth?"

Somehow or other, these little glitches never wave any red flags for me 
in the beginning and I end up tearing my hair out as a result. Fortunately, 99% of the time, the challenges are conquered and the end result is what I had visualized in the beginning (while I was mindlessly nodding my head to the can-you questions). I've had one portrait returned for modifications. Yes, you guessed it, the elusive Kyle. So I put the portrait aside for a couple of weeks and came back with a fresh eye. Eureka! The real Kyle did come forth, the changes were made and we finally closed that book to a happy ending for all. 

I do love portraiture but I'm going to make an effort to really keep myself in check next time
by adding a "but"....
"Can you paint Laura without her double chin?" Yes, but...

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