Filtering by Tag: portrait painting

Back in the Studio

Added on by Lara Hoke.

It's been a crazy few weeks and I have not had the opportunity to spend time in the studio.  However, yesterday I was finally able to get some work done!  I spent about an hour working on the commissioned portrait of the girl with the butterfly.

Because the source photograph does not have a background (just darkness due to the flash), and I don't have shrubs in my studio, I've been relying on the paintings of Mary Cassatt for reference on the treatment of greenery.

Work in progress, Girl with Butterfly, Lara Hoke

Portrait of Ben

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I am participating in a show titled "Faces" in Berkeley that opens early next month. I will be showing three pieces and--potentially--a fourth, if I can complete this portrait of Ben which I started this week. I want this painting to feel like a charcoal drawing, with the artist's hand present in the push and pull between additions and erasures.  The main image below is where the portrait is now.   The three images in the strip below are from earlier stages in the portrait's evolution.

Ben, in progress

Using Technology to Capture Likeness

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Periodically while I work on a portrait I use Photoshop to overlay a photo of the painting on the source image.  Not a fancy technique by any means, but a hugely useful one.  By overlaying the images I can see immediately where my painting is off.  For example, in the first series below, I can easily see that my painting is too straight on.  Rather than directly facing the camera as I've painted him, the subject is turning slightly toward his right.  In the second series I see several issues.  The most important of which are the tilt of the head and the placement of the right eye.

Capturing the spirit of the subject can't be helped by technology.  Thank goodness at least likeness can.

Source Image, Portrait in Process, Overlay

Source Image, Portrait in Process, Overlay

Portraits in Progress

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Reference Photograph, Grandfather ZibbelI'm am working on a series of portraits of a client's grandfathers.  The paintings are meant to be a clear expression of their memories and evoke a feeling of nostalgia and history.  

Reference Photograph, Grandfather Buck 

 

 

 

Although early in the process of painting the portraits, I want to be careful not to overwork them.  I want the paintings to be a combination of fully developed areas and loose, gestural lines.

Lara Hoke, Grandfather Buck in ProgressLara Hoke, Grandfather Zibbel in Progress

Lara Hoke, Grandfather portraits in progress, oil on panel

 

Stages of a Portrait

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I've been working on this portrait of my friend Ariyele for quite some time.  I intitally started it back in May 2009.  I worked from life, I think we had two sittings of about an hour or two each, and was very pleased with how the portrait was progressing.  After the second sitting, I continued to work on it from a photograph.  The portrait became very severe - as you can see below in the image on the far right - and I put it away in mild disgust for over a year.

Earlier this month I took the painting out of storage, sanded it down a bit, and began working back into it.  Using thick layers of opaque painting mixed with subtle glazes of color I was able to soften the hard edges and bring life back into the painting despite the fact that I was still only working from a photograph.

Ariyele, late October 2010

Ariyele, early October 2010Ariyele, May 2009

Work in Progress: Kim

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I cleaned up the studio yesterday and spent most of the afternoon and evening painting.  The images below are of Kim.  The left-most image is the painting as I left it in June.  The middle image is a photo of my studio today and a portion of the painting.  The right-most image is the painting as I left it tonight.  It may not seem like that much progress has been made, but I've shifted and repainted two of the planters, begun to paint the plants, and started to think about her hands...