I spent some of the Christmas break painting a portrait of my mother and have spent some more time tweaking since. Sadly she died last Summer after years of deteriorating health. Over the past five or so years I spent my time with her sketching and painting.
She is pictured in the bungalow she moved into after leaving the family home and is in front of the dresser holding the family china. She also has her fall alarm around her neck.
The sketch was ready many years ago! So I was relieved to make some time to start painting.
I dug out my precious lead white, I thought she deserved it. Also good evidence that all portraits go through an ugly phase. This was after the first painting session.
The second painting session showing an improvement and one discarded background.
Another of the many background iterations and showing one of the iPad images I used. This background framed her head too closely.
A close up showing the texture of the lead white paint and the way the gingham fabric was painted. I was pleased with the end result and the fabric was the least or my problems once I’d worked out how to approach it.
I’m relieved I’ve completed it as well as being pleased with the result. I’m not too upset that she didn’t get to see the finished, she did see many of the sketches and paintings over the years and she was really pleased when I gave her a painting of the cat she left behind at her family home.
I’ve another larger image sketched out, also from years ago. Hopefully that will get finished at some point.
Painting-wise something I found very useful during the process was taking a photo and making it black and white. The small size and the monochrome image really helped with identifying drawing and tonal problems, of which there were many.