I’m delighted to release my latest commissioned portrait — Mr. Simon Fredricks. Simon contacted me by email expressing his interest in a portrait in the style of my actor series, a swift correspondence ensued, and off we went.
Here is the entire process in 70 seconds set to the spectacular sounds of Pete Pidgeon and Arcoda. Rock onward.
Simon provided a series of excellent headshots, but we decided this was the most fitting image. After reviewing some critical and well prepared personal information, I was ready to begin. And now for the full process.
Exploring collage materials. My idea was to treat each shoulder as hot and cold; peace and tribulation. There is a taste of Warhol, Johns, London and a series of personal images. Alas, there would be no Hopper in this painting.
Banging out the initial collage in the face… the words were carefully curated, with many important people in Simon’s life receiving a shout.
Laying down the initial collage… devil on his shoulder, beautiful waves in the peaceful side… a tenuous balance, or in another word, life.
Always a fan of the red under painting… beginning to carve into the picture, creating planes.
As the initial paint is applied to the face, I’m about to turn the first significant corner… finding the likeness. This stage is always strange to observe, as it looks clearly like a painting, yet falls quite short of a portrait.
While subtle, the indication of eyes, nose and mouth really begin to bring the portrait into the realm of reality.
Now, it’s about exploring the color palette in the face… a series of red-oranges, on the lighter side to start.
After two more rounds, a major jump… the face is now taking shape, the hair it more painted in, the shirt received a deep blue wash to homogenize the tones.
Much closer. Over the course of creating this portrait, I got to know Simon quite well. Our ongoing dialog helped me shape the portrait in a way I felt fitting… the fire for life defining the facial tones.
Getting very close… now it’s about the details… lighting the cigarette, painting the hair highlights…
Oh so close.
And complete! This was my first 40″x40″ portrait, and I’ll confess — I’m a fan of the format. It has a strong presence. Thank you Simon for this commission. I deeply enjoyed working with you and look forward to a lifelong friendship with a kindred spirit.
Play it again Sam.