This is a guy I did a drawing of in my Big Issue Series and I decided to add him to the Face of Homelessness because of his amazing beard-you can hardly see his mouth and it really conceals his identity. I saw him recently at St James Street and his beard was even longer, I hope to approach him to make a sketch of him with a longer version of his beard.
The Face of Homelessness, Piccadilly, 12" x 12", Oil on Board, 2012
I did take some stage shots of this one and I also have the drawing I did of him in the Big Issue Series.
This is a drawing I did of him in 2011, It was done in oil based pencils on gessoed card. the gessoed pencils I have used are black and sanguine.
These stages are not step by step procedures of doing this kind of painting, but they are just shots at different stages while the painting is in progress. I think there's so much that happens during the process of a painting that it would be hard to break it down into a step by step procedure.
Again using the Anders Zorn palette, I first plot the position I'll like the portrait to be on the canvas by using squares and diagonals.
I plan to give this portrait a bit of "edginess" by placing the face totally off the centre. I feel his face has a feel of concealed identity, so I think this will enhance the idea. I sketch with a mixture of black and red on a gessoed board that has a tint of light brownish orange to it.
The full sketch is now complete, I am quite pleased with the position.
Here, I start applying paint, I actually started from the left eye and I moved out to the rest of the face moving to the right. It is the shape by shape method of just filling in each space with thick colour, this colour is not diluted with any medium.
Moving to the right, I add some of the suggestion of the background and keep the paint thick and workable , I constantly make sure every stroke I make is a drawing stroke to help in the accuracy of the piece.
I really loved painting his hair and moving on to the rest of the his clothes, I left the best part to last, that was his beard.. These pictures just show the way I work and how it all comes together just through little shapes of colour. It's the INSIDE- OUT Technique.
"....Skill has become a commodity, a very affordable commodity, and possibly, as a consequence, has been devalued. This may be in part the reason why we still turn to the unique, hand-crafted portrait, because in its very form, it remains a metaphor for the uniqueness of the individual depicted. "-Anthony Connolly, Painting Portraits