Saturday, February 7, 2009

My first portraits in acrylic paint

The last two days of the course described in the last posting, I got tired of the standard subjects of sun-drenched Tuscan ruins, etc., and wanted to do something different. I ripped a couple of pages out of a fashion magazine I found somewhere, and tried to paint portraits.

The first one ("Girl in blue top") was made the morning after I went and saw a large exhibition of Van Gogh's drawings and paintings, some 150 items, at the Albertina in Vienna.  

One of the pieces on display was Van Gogh's famous self-portrait with diluted oil paint (he didn't have more paint left, reportedly, and had to dilute it), where he sports a straw hat. This is my first portrait painting, 30 x 40 cm, on canvas.

Encouraged by this, I did the other one, on paper, 50 x 65 cm, whipped out in the last two hours of the course.   This is the second portrait painting of my life.  The night before, I had bought some cheap acrylic paint in a set, from EduScho, including a tube of Gold color.  I used some of the gold in the woman's hair, but this is not easily visible in the photograph.

These two paintings, such as they are, changed my view of acrylic paint.  I hadn't thought it possible to use such paint in portraits, expecting the work to be too slow and painstaking.

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