My last one-man show featured portraits of prominent residents of Northville, Michigan, however they didn’t know it was going to happen. A few months prior I had gone about town taking photos of individuals. All they knew was I needed their photo for a project for one of the galleries. I painted portraits from the photographs. I tried to have something in the backgrounds relating to the individuals. You can see several of the portraits if you click on “Most Recent One Man Show” on the gallery section of the website.
The individuals received special invitations to the show. They were surprised to see themselves on the gallery wall when they arrived.
The gallery produced post card invitations to be sent to the regular mailing list. Sara Marlowe, gallery director, created the image for the card by including pieces of several of the portraits – an eye, a nose, etc. The invitation created a lot of interest and gossip. Here is the invitation card:
This is the police chief for Northville. I had to beg the receptionist to get him for me. He came out of his office and reluctantly posed for the picture. I’m sure he thought I was up to no good.
It is very hard to paint a portrait from a photo. A lot of people try to do it. For one thing, a photo will pick up the yellow artificial light from the bulbs above. Another thing is that the person is flat on the photo. I had to study these photos carefully so I could get the actual three dimensional feel. I forced some of the shadows and light on the faces to give that impression. This man’s hair is painted straight white. It isn’t that way normally, but with the light from above, any differences were washed out. Note the light and shadows on his shirt. There are different colors. The colors happen because of the sources of light. The blue parts have natural light coming from the outside entrance, while the greenish shades happen with the yellow cast of the overhead lighting.
Tell me what you think of my portraits in the “Most Recent One Man Show” section. Which one do you like best?