Thursday, May 6, 2010

"In the Studio"

20x30", oil on linen

I'm finishing a few larger paintings this week, here is one of them.


  1. Hi Victoria,
    Did you work from a photo on this self-portrait? or in front a mirror? I've been studying it for a portrait I'm working on my son. You are still one of my inspirations!
    ~Patti (Nelson) Stoneham

  2. Thanks Patti!
    It was a combination of both. I took a photo for the reflections and respective reference, and used a mirror for the actual portrait. It was placed in a spot that had similar lighting, pretty far from the easel, so it was like: walk to the mirror, look and figure out what's happening, go back to the canvas, paint. Pretty similar to what Robert Henry describes in his book, suggesting to have a model in a separate room and not in front of you. I find that I do better if I don't worry about the likeness and concentrate on getting the big masses right. Then the rest just falls into place.
    Painting from photographs is very difficult, at least to me. It adds an extra step to the thinking process - trying to extract a 3D object from a flat reference. The trick is not to let the photo dictate what and how to paint, and instead, use it as a source of information only: structure of the head, proportions... in a way, it helps to have a rather bad quality photo to work with.