Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Staying Clean (Mostly)"

"Staying Clean (Mostly)" by Valorie Snyder, oils, 14 x 11

This little girl was a study of contrasts. While she enjoyed being a princess for a little while, she is an active outdoor kid, unaccustomed to worrying about her clothes. She reminded me of the way we attempt to present ourselves to the world as “having it all together,” while inside we often feel rumpled and crumpled and very much not together. But she wasn’t concerned about that—she was having too much fun!

In creating this painting, I decided to play up the contrasts. I contrasted her fancy dress by placing her in her preferred outdoor environment. The lighting, high and from behind, created natural contrasts which set the mood for this fleeting moment.

Because the view was frontal, I wanted to avoid a too-static composition. To create some movement, I used highlights to emphasize the diagonals in the angle of her shoulders and the lines of her dress. I also angled and varied the tree line in the background and angled the log slightly. I painted her dress loosely, to create movement and to create the feeling that she won’t be sitting still very long! (And she didn't).

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100 Faces - Introduction

After painting many portraits, I've found I can achieve the likeness, attitude and personality of my subjects, given enough time. Now I want to be able to create them faster!
My art goal for 2012 is to paint one hundred faces - small, quick practice studies, either from photos or from life, in whatever amount of time I have. If I only have an hour on a particular day, the idea is to complete the portrait in an hour. No time for fussing over details. I want to use larger brushes and more paint. Rough studies can have their own charm. Since it's just practice, I may throw them away, paint over them, or go back later to finish them further.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge and see the brushwork.