40" x 60", oil on wood panel, 2017, private collection
This is one of two large paintings I did of Toronto-based musician, Kelsey McNulty, with the plan of submitting the one I liked better to the Kingston Prize for portraiture. I did this last time in 2015 (the competition is only every two years) with my portraits of George Meanwell (also a Toronto-based musician) where I painted him playing banjo and concertina and submitted the latter. I think this painting came out very well and I like it a lot, but I felt since Kelsey's a musician, submitting the painting featuring her and one of her instruments works better as a portrait, rather than just a painting, of her.
The big picture(s).
I was originally going to paint this in realistic colours, but a chance glimpse of a magazine cover that featured Vincent van Gogh's "Almond Blossom" changed my mind and I tried to apply the colour scheme he used in that painting, using greens and yellows for the skin and hair, and blues for everything else.
Still more modelling.
Highlights...and more modelling.
I debated whether to do any gradient rendering on the shirt or just leave it like this, looking flat like a screen print. I debated this all the way until the end and decided I liked this look a lot, leaving the complex rendering isolated to the face and hair.
Lightened up...but not enough.
...so I went over the background after it had mostly cured (while working on the other painting) with a light blue which still wasn't light enough. While my first attempt at lightening was still wet I applied lots of pure white and blended that in to get my final, desired, preferred result.