Thursday, 8 February 2007

An Eye spinning around his Orbit...

Goodaboom, Thursday 8th February 2007

Late, and I feel exhausted! My eyes are especially tired, after having spent the day working on the portraits of my two Dutch kiddies. At least, I have tamed them now... Well, I hope I have! I have had them here for some weeks already, it´s enough now, I can´t bear them anymore! This always happens to me when i work for a long time on a portrait, the portraited person comes alive, and almost as though he or she were living with me. When one knows me, and how I defend my privacy, one can imagine how I hate these intruders at the end!

Tomorrow I´ll send the photos of the portraits to the clients in Holland, and if they think they really are their grand-children, I´ll send them back home on the first plane! As I told before, one of them was complicated for me and I needed much more time than I thought. I had particular problems with one eye, which persisted in being too low, wherever I placed it. I noticed it very late, as the portrait was almost finished. I saw that something was wrong, but I was not able to find the reason. I looked at all the lines the light and the shadow areas, I compared all dimensions of all the elements of building a face, and the space between –something which I normally never do, as I paint portraits without taking measurements.
I never had such a problem before in my career as portrait painter, and I can tell you: this eye which was spinning around his orbit drove me mad! Above all because by the end it seemed to draw the nose tip, the mouth edges and the earlobes into its star trek!

The danger in this case is when you start changing things, little by little. Things which have nothing to do with the problem, and soon you stand in front of a stranger on the paper. Each minimal change generally has a massive effect on the expression of a face: it is true in life, and it is true in a portrait.

In such moments I am asking myself if I should really go on with such a hard profession as portrait painter. But I know the answer already; I cannot stop! Portrait painting is simply fascinating, and the happiness I give my clients is priceless (but don´t misunderstand me: my portraits do have a price!)!
Anyway I´ll publish these two new portraits in Goodaboom very soon, for the ones amongst you who have followed me on my way of the cross!

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