Saturday, March 12, 2011

Portrait of Dame Iris Murdoch

I've spent maybe 8 to 10 hours on this painting - trying to get a likeness. Now, I'm not sure what to do. I really like this work in black and white, so I might just continue accenting the light, and trying to add more detail in the hair, eyes and tonal values. The last photo is blurred and I included it here as I quite like the feel of it. Dame Iris was very intelligent so I need to try and reflect that somehow, and I think blurring the image is one way I can garner that. I don't know how the professional artists might tackle this so I'll just experiment and find my own way. If anyone reading has any suggestions - let men know please.

I used black and white as I recently read an excellent book entitled Gerard Richter Writings, and in it were these gorgeous black and white oils. If you haven't seen them - have a look at his website. He's definitely one of the greatest living artists. Well, in my opinion perhaps the greatest simply because of the broad range of work over many years. Anyway, I felt that the black and white images especially suited portraiture as they added a dynamic that couldn't be replicated in a colour image. Rather like a black and white photo compared to a colour one. Sometimes it's better to leave some information out, and give the viewer more - to ponder, to imagine, to speculate.

Another reason maybe that a blurred image appears somewhat spiritual. Iris might like that.

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