Monday, April 27, 2015

The Beach Boy

The Beach Boy, 10x8" Oil on Gessobord

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." — Mother Teresa

Today's painting is a recently commissioned piece. The photo reference I worked from was 20+ years old and so faded there was very little color still visible in the well worn image. However I have found over time, that if I pay close attention and focus in on each and every individual value shift, adding color isn't really a problem as long as I apply the same values found in the reference. In this reference there were also sand dunes in the background, so using a little creative licensing, I decided to add the cooler blue-green ocean behind this little beach goer for added color and contrast to his sun kissed flesh tones, and to also mimic his luminous sky-blue orbs. 

When I paint a portrait, I really have to completely forget that I am working on a portrait and not even try to think about capturing an exact likeness, or I will freeze up faster than a drop of water landing on the apex of the North Pole. I try to work all over the panel focusing on and breaking it all down into shapes formed by shadows, mid-tones and highlights. Once I am able to isolate a specific shape and value, and recreate that same value, each spot becomes a piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Somehow when I adhere to this limited focus approach, magically a little boy begins to emerge out of the paint. I might not always get an exact likeness, but somehow the underlying spirit and energy seems to rise out of the chaos.

I am not a great painter, only a very insignificant artist struggling to survive in a world surrounded by so many other more talented and formally educated masters. My desire is to disappear into the ocean of my work and experience over and over the tides of joy creating at the foot of the Master. That is enough. 

Thanks for dropping in today!

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

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