Today, my friend Connor finally popped by to pose. I had really enjoyed doing the portrait of Gianfranco, so I decided to stick with the same set-up – table easel, sized and primed cardboard, limited palette. Connor had brought along his ginormous gaming laptop to play on while he posed, so he made himself comfy in the armchair, laptop and glass of wine close at hand and settled in for the next couple of hours.
I use a little cardboard viewfinder, roughly the same dimensions as my canvas, to choose a rough composition before I get started. I never quite know where the painting will go, what the exact composition will be, which I like. It evolves fairly organically depending on the sitter. I had to get in Connor’s amazing mop of hair , which took up almost half of the canvas, and deal with the difficult perspective slightly from above looking down. But in the end Connor’s portrait came together fairly easily, although he’s looking very stern!
I’m enjoying these small, quick portraits from life. It’s satisfying to have someone sit for a couple of hours and then that’s it, done. And with a small set-up like this you can easily take it outside, travel with it and do quick paintings on the road. I’m thinking portraits in the park might be next…