This still life was done at home in 2010. The size is 9"x12" (pretty small), and it was done in natural light. I usually take pictures of my process, but this still life was originally going to get destroyed - glad I didn't give up! Usually the pieces I connect best with are the ones I battle. On the first session the background was more pink, and the bamboos were smaller. I painted and painted, and repainted...I got inspired by the two bamboos that leaned one against the other, they shared one vase, one source of water, in beautiful natural light...the scene echoed romance...made me want to paint!
This figure painting was done in a competition called the Susan MacCdowell Eakins competition, held at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (my school). It was a two day competition with a life model - I was there for a day and two hours...each day went from 9am - 4pm, with a one hour break in between. We had large windows in the studio with this setup - one day was rainy, the other was very sunny. Lots of fun! Difficult fun...I got second place, and my friend Mike Manley received 1st place. This painting was purchased in the ASE (Annual Student Exhibition) at PAFA.
I repainted this portrait so many times - at least 7!
Okay, so this is a truer color of the portrait - can you see the difference? One was photographed with artificial light and the other with natural light - the cleanest light you can possibly use for photographing (that I know of) - wanna be real extreme with "pure" light (hehe), you can work with North light, like them old masters used to do. This contemporary artist/photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto, works with natural light: http://sugimoto.pulitzerarts.org/ - He is inspired by the old masters, but also by the Surrealist and Dadaist movements; he highly admires Marcel Duchamp.