Sunday, July 22, 2012

Portrait of a Man of the Sea

Portrait Commission
18 x 28
I recently sent off this painting to Norway, the furthest that any of my work has travelled so far.  It was commissioned by someone that I've never met in person but have had the pleasure to get to know through that world-shrinking tool: Facebook.

The painting was done from several candid photos that the client had taken of her husband over the years.  They showed him at different ages, in both casual and formal clothing, and under many different lighting conditions.  But there was one common thread that really helped me decide on a composition for this painting: in the majority of the photos, the man was on or beside the sea.  I proposed to portray him in his boat and, happily, his wife agreed to the plan.

Then I merged several photos to come up with this pose and lighting.  I didn't use Photoshop, just sketches.  The triangular composition is a stable one and that seemed right for a person who is, according to his wife, a very strong person.  I liked the natural leading line of the side of the boat; it points the viewer directly up to the man's face.  This effect was repeated with the horizon line which I placed at eye level, leading the viewer to his keen gaze.

The painting arrived safely and will be a surprise for my friend's husband.  I enjoyed working on it and I hope that he likes the result.


Inger Berit Lie said...

I really like this, Ingrid!


Ingrid Christensen said...

Thank you, Inger. That's important!


Ann Rogers said...

What a treasure!

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thanks, Ann!

I like to think of the life that paintings will lead after they leave me and I hope they will be thought of as treasures in their new homes. I know you must feel the same about your work.

Happy painting!