Sketch of Terry

oil sketch, 12 x 9 inches
In preparation for a portrait commission, I am working on a series of oil portrait sketches to "warm up".  
Years ago, I aspired to be an oil portrait painter, but things never seemed to work out.
I painted hundreds, maybe thousands, of pastel portraits, frequently from small photos of deceased loved ones. I painted pastel portraits in shopping malls at Christmas for 5 years. From the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, the Southland Mall  in Houma, LA became my home for 12 hours a day, after which I would retire to the Sugar Motel [read as cheap & smoky] to rest up for the next day. Typically, I painted 6 or 7 pastels from small photos a day, with a few live sittings included, for nearly a month. 
The conditions were strenuous and adverse; no wonder I gave up the idea of painting portraits!
When my son was born, I happily left that era behind. I began painting watercolors, sculpting in clay, painting oil and pastel still life and landscape. 
I'm looking forward to the commission. 
In the meantime, I'll do some 'target practice'. 
The sketch of Terry was painted quickly, in @ an hour and one half. I used a black and white photo which I had taken of a friend ten years ago.


Don Gray said...

Looks like you haven't lost your touch for portraits, Joan! Thanks for your post the other day on brushes--it was very helpful. I took your advice and ordered some Yarka and Luxartis Kolinsky sables. They came the other day. While I haven't yet dipped them in paint, they look like beautiful brushes.

Joan DaGradi said...

Don, I'm so glad you tried the brushes! I hope that you'll love them. The Luxartis hold their point just a little bit better than the Yarka. I bought a Series 7 last year; its more of a mop brush now. It never did point as well as I had expected.