Yesterday I finished my latest Rattlesnake portrait--Diane. You can see a short slide show of its progression on my Instagram account. Overall I'm pleased with how it turned out and most of all I'm pleased to have made a new friend. Diane is an impressive woman and getting to know her as she modeled was a heartwarming experience.
Long time readers know that I lean into the asymmetrical nature of the face and try to capture different expressions on each side. When I look at Diane's portrait I see a happy expression on the left and an expression of hard earned pride on the right side. Feel free to message me and tell me what YOU see. 😊
The biggest lesson I learned with this portrait is to stop trying so hard to capture every detail. I use a combination of live modeling and photos and I think I need to reduce the amount of time I reference the photos. Whereas this portrait looks like Diane, and she agrees that it does, somehow in trying to capture every detail I feel like I lost her essence.
Oftentimes the initial composition from the first sitting with a new model captures more of who they are and as I refine and refine it's almost like I'm putting a mask on the portrait. For example look at these first and last photos of three portraits:
This summer I'm going to take a break from doing portraits and consider how I want to do the remaining portraits--eventually I want 10-12 portraits and currently I have 6. Maybe the last portraits will be significantly different than these first six.