I spent Sunday painting a portrait of my wife. I took a couple of quick snap-shots of her yesterday, illuminated by the natural light of the window and used them for painting reference. There's always an added level of complexity when painting someone familiar, in particular my wife, because I want to capture a likeness and handle her features with a delicate touch. Occasionally my wife would wander into my studio and check my progress. She jokingly added suggestions about making her lips a little bigger or wondered how she'd look if her hair was the reddish color I used to glaze the hair shape. With a pond of yellow sitting on my palette, I said I could easily change her into a blond. She was a great sport and intrigued by the process. She still likes me which is a good sign that my brushstrokes didn't create too much harm.
I think it turned out okay. As mentioned in previous posts, I feel I'm at the stage where there aren't any glaring monumental issues -- just two-dozen nuanced ones that if fixed would shift the painting into something transcendent, and it's my job to find out what those are. On this piece, I wanted to focus on the eyes and getting their edges to read correctly. One thing that pleased me is that the painting came together rather quickly which is a good sign of progress and increasing proficiency.
Here are two progress shots:
I've been having a miserable time getting the painting to reproduce accurately. Here's another photo that reads too brightly. I can't capture all of the nuances that I find engaging. The truth is somewhere between this photo and the first one.
Here's a close-up: