Blog University 16 – Imagination
What do you do if your subject is unattainable? Imagine it.
I am painting a woman who died before I was born. Her story is the subject rather than realism. After reading a great deal about her life and work, I selected two opposing ideas to incorporate:
1. She wore her father’s clothes after his death.
2. “She dressed like a dandy.” This quote was by a contemporary person.
Why not paint her in the style of Thomas Gainsborough? Student artists learn by copying great paintings. The Blue Boy had remained famous during her lifetime. While researching, I found Pink Boy. It was a better fit for my subject.
By making a sketch, I learned an amazing structure is under the composition. You can trace a print to find the lines and shapes in the composition. A black/white print may also instruct. Consider making a value study.
My painting is developing slowly ‘in the style of‘ rather than a copy. Each layer corrects the drawing and colors. By glazing and adding texture, the finished work should emerge. I believe attire is like a costume and expresses something about the person. The painting shows something about the artist’s imagination, also.
Image: Charlotte (unfinished) acrylic on canvas