New portrait: Uwe

I’ve reached a stopping point on this one and I’m almost ready to declare it done. It’s painted on a canvas covered in roughly-applied, unsanded gesso, and at this point the image seems to fit the support. I’m happy with the texture.

Feedback welcome! There are a couple spots I think need tweaking, but it will be interesting to hear if they bother anyone else (or if you’re bothered by spots I haven’t even noticed yet). The few people who have seen it so far have remarked on the background lines that give the suggestion of a halo. I don’t set out to do it, but this happens a lot in the background of my portraits. I usually end up painting it out in the final version, but in this case I’m inclined to leave the circumscription in.

And just in case you’re wondering, the subject’s name, Uwe, is a somewhat common German name pronounced OO-vah (the “oo” kind of like that in “too”).

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6 Responses to “New portrait: Uwe”

  1. Bobbi says:

    I didn’t notice the halo until you pointed it out; maybe it’s his aura:) It seems like the background may be really close in color to his face. Maybe a bit more contrast? I love the vivid colors you use and your style is jaunty! How long does it take for you to do a portrait? I’m missing my figure study class.

  2. Jen says:

    I didn’t come to the conclusion myself but I think Bobbi may have a good suggestion. Contrast could provide an interesting change in the tone of the portrait. I love how different “Uwe” is from “Kim” and that you can show so much variety in your work while still doing essentially the same thing. Bravo!

  3. Jul says:

    Thanks for the suggestions! I hear you on the lack of color contrast in this one. It doesn’t come across in this photo, but there’s a pretty significant texture difference between the face and the background which I think makes up for that – the face is smooth from many layers of paint, whereas the background is very rough and textural from the unsanded gesso underneath. But more color contrast might complement the textures well.

    I should try to keep track of total time for some of my paintings – it would be interesting to know, plus somewhat useful in pricing decisions, too. I’m guessing here, but I think this one was around five hours of work so far, counting preliminary sketches and painting time.

  4. Sarah & Sirena says:

    Yea Uncle Uwe!! Sirena and I love it (but we may be biased because he is our favorite uncle)!! Sirena says it’s very rainbowy!

    Nice job! and we loved Jen & Uwe’s wedding card too!!

  5. Christine says:

    Love both portraits of Kim and Uwe! Really lovin’ this new creative energy Jul! ;-)

  6. Jul says:

    @Sarah & Sirena – Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I bet Uwe makes a very fun uncle indeed. :)

    @Christine – Thanks! Watch out, you might be up next…

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