Saturday, January 16, 2010

Portrait sketch

Portrait study of Dutch writer Gerrit Komrij. Oils on paper.

Richard Schmid states in his book 'Alla Prima" (which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to learn more on painting alla prima) that you should never leave anything in your painting that you are not satisfied with. I totally agree. If you compare painting to speaking, leaving such a thing on the canvas is like mumbling, instead of spealking clearly.
Still I limited myself to one session for this sketch, especially to see which elements I overlook, when I am not revising every 'mistake'.
Most apparent are two things to me.
1. Colors. The tonality of the portrait is quite okay, yet the portrait lacks interesting play of warm and cool accents. The light areas are way too cool.
2. Point of interest. The sharp edges in his hair and his coat, take the focus away from his face. Because of this, the painting does not state clearly where the point of interest lies. This sharpness had better be placed in the glasses and his eyes instead.
I learn from this sketch that it is very important to take the time and to think about concepts like these (point of interest, composition, color, tonalities) even more, before putting the paint on the canvas. Painting happens in the mind first.


Detail for those who want to have a closer look at the brushstrokes:

9 comments:

Miguel Garrido . illustrator said...

Very interesting, and agile work in resolution.

天氣 said...
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Damion009 said...

amazing post! I love it!!

Niall O loughlin said...

Love the colours Wouter

SEILER said...

That is beautiful man . . .!!!

flats said...

Amazing Wouter

Wlamir (WROD) said...

Very good art...!!!
Congratulations !!!

Kyle T. Webster said...

You have great talent - it is hard to critique oneself, and you are obviously a very modest person! I'm glad I discovered your blog.