Several months ago, I embarked on my first portrait commissions of two lovely young sisters - one on each side of the border of adolescence. I knew the paintings would be hung together in the family home now and eventually each of the girls would receive their own portrait. It was important for me to create visual continuity and respect the request of the parents to "keep them young" while honoring the true ages and individuality of these blossoming young women. I had them sit outside, with the afternoon light framing their hair to create a warm glow. I positioned them so each would have a different, but complementary pose. The family's garden has a memorable pink bougainvillea shrub, so I alluded to it in a loose impression in the background, which will give the paintings a forever sense of "home." Painting both from life and photo reference has been an incredible experience for me, and when I delivered the girl's portraits today, I got a misty-eyed hug from a very happy mom - and that made every beautiful moment of struggle worth it!
Click on each of the images to see the full painting. Would you like to commission a painting? Read more here.
On chilly winter days, I'm not always excited to stand outside painting landscapes for hours on end. It is a great time to head back into the studio and the classroom and work on the basics of drawing.
Somedays I set up a still life, and other days I work on portraits and figures, from a combination of live models (or in this case, a used-to-be-alive model) and photographs.
I call this 24 x 18 charcoal drawing "Anatomy Class."
It is very helpful to understand the underlying structure of a form in order to draw or paint it. I'm working on observing what I see and figuring out how to make a three dimensional object appear realistic on flat paper. I'm happy with the way the upper ribcage curves and appears to bend around. The next time I am working from a live model, this will help me remember to visualize the part of their body that is "behind" what I see and figure out ways to create the round dimension with value (dark and light) and color (warm and cool).
About the artist
Linda Rosso is a California artist who delights in the colors she sees out of the corners of her eyes. Read more...
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