Monday, 29 June 2020

Contemplating Portrait Backgrounds - Frida VI

There’s a call at my local gallery for August, so I’ve started thinking about a submission. The subject must be female and only one piece. I immediately thought of CLEOPATRA EYE, showcasing the wonderful eyes of Elizabeth Taylor, a striking vignette which hasn't had much exposure locally. I also have plans for a portrait of my mother and a whole family portrait, but I doubt either of those would be finished in time, especially with the beautiful spring like weather beckoning me to get out after the last few months captivity.

However, FRIDA VI is more representative of my recent work and more saleable, she is the better choice. So Frida it is. The portrait is finished and I love it, but until a painting is sold it is always a candidate for a bit of tweaking and I see a few opportunities to dabble.


Firstly, although turquoise is fashionable, I think the background is too intense for most buyers, so I’ve been reading up. I know from past experience that changing backgrounds is tricky and usually leads to retouching the whole portrait. This is because I integrate the background colour into the subject as reflected colour. Not wanting to do a complete repaint, I must therefore keep the background on the warm blue side; this adds complication as I also need to cool the colour to make it recede more.

More research required, but so far I’ve found this comprehensive article helpful in my decision making process.

Wet Canvas - Backgrounds and Depth

1 comment:

  1. Good call Sea. My eye goes right to that bright turquoise. Best of luck with the changes, not that you need it. Thanks for sharing the link. ;) Enjoy the weather!

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