Hurrah! Camera back from the repair shop. At the end of Part II, "Furs" was pretty much finished. Except for the background, everything had received it's due attention and was done. But can we all just agree that backgrounds are a painter's punishment for having fun doing everything else? I overthink mine in a big way. Below, my first attempt at doing a final (ha!) pass over the background. I eventually decided it was just too flat and dull.
So late one night I just started mucking around and pushing contrast.
And then, I don't even know what I was thinking, I started doodling an abstract landscape in the background. I'm not proud of that moment.
I finally snapped out of it. Two passes later and a month after finishing everything else in the painting, I finally just finished it off. But not after have to sand the background a bit and correct an accidental halo around her head. It's amazing how a small element of a painting can cause a disproportionate amount of pain. Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It's something like, 20% of your painting will make you drink 80% of that bottle of wine.
Let's talk inspiration! Of course I've always loved this gorgeous painting by Jacob van Oost the Elder, Portrait of a Boy Aged Eleven. But you know, I'd completely forgotten it existed when I was planning out this painting. It was obviously stuck in my subconscious. Isn't it just plain weird how similar they ended up being? This is a shining example of the futility of trying to be original in art.
I only just discovered this painting by Francesco Masriera: "Winter 1882." Isn't the fur just lovely?
One of the reasons Dave and I collect antique garments is because the textures and detail elements are just so lovely to paint. Nobody wears muffs or ruffs or Victorian blouses with military brass buttons anymore, and it's one of the things that prevents me from painting more contemporary subject matter. Who wants to paint cotton t-shirts and polyester slacks?
Here are some detail shots:
And finally, the finished painting:
"Furs," 18x26", oil on panel, 2016
"Furs" will be on display at the Art! Vancouver show this spring. Dave and I will be posting more information soon about all that, but if you're in the Vancouver area, mark off the end of May in your calendars and plan to come by our booth to say "hi!"