I’ve been commissioned to paint a portrait. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but had never had the chance. I’ve done a lot ‘Journey‘ portraits, but not one in the traditional sense of closer head and shoulders portrait. This post will show the progress as I work through the painting.
If you would like to commission a portrait, please contact me.
As usual, I start with the background and work my way out to the foreground. The background contains part of the subject’s journey as he traveled from Rochester New York to Scottsbluff Nebraska. I show this with the two landscapes over each shoulder.
Final Photo (June 4, 2016) – Click for larger image:
Background story to the painting.
This is a painting of fellow artist Bill Robbins. He has been a potter for decades and has traveled much in his life. This painting shows some of his journey. Starting with the hat, we see a representation of his hand-built kiln that is usually full of his work. Over his right shoulder I’ve painted the town of Rochester NY, his home town. In the foreground of Rochester is another iconic NY scene – the 1969 Woodstock festival which Bill attended.
Over his left shoulder is the landmark of Scottsbluff Nebraska, where he first settled in Nebraska. In front of Scottsbluff is his beloved VW bus chugging along the highway.
Working from a handful of photos, I found that Bill likes to take a lot of ‘selfies’ and you can see his right arm extended as he ‘takes’ another one. I’m not sure why I choose a plaid shirt (other than to drive myself crazy painting stripes) but really works well in this scene.
Bill has shorter hair these days and the pork chop sideburns are gone, but they were a part of his look for many years. I’ve added them back and added a little grey to show the spirit of the 60’s still lives inside.
The Work in Progress:
Please note that the colors on this page are not 100% accurate and the photos are just for reference.
You’ll also notice a crowd of people on the left. This is a little bit of Woodstock to symbolize his formative years in the 1960’s.
June 17, 2015: I’ve decided to take a break from the plaid shirt and work on the face a little. I still have a lot of color to add as I start blocking in the details.June 18, 2015: More detail and shadows on the face, plus I’ve started the hair and hat.
June 4, 2016: Yes, I took some time away from this as I got busy – but it’s complete and Bill and Paula love it! 😀
If you would like to commission a portrait painting, please contact me today. I will work with you to create a stunning, unique story. A custom portrait makes a lifetime treasure for friends and family.