Close-up Portrait II

Oil portrait by Helen Davison Bradley

‘Jo’. Oil on board, 8″x6″

Another close-cropped portrait. This time of the lovely, glamorous Jo; such an engaging and interesting lady. This was painted very broadly, and my panel was in shadow for most of the sittings. It was a bit of a shock when I took it into the light and saw just how rough some of the areas were. I very sparingly cleaned up a few edges here and there, but fundamentally left it without too much fussing because it is a good likeness and, I think, characterisation.

Since painting this, I have also drawn a life-sized portrait of Jo in charcoal, but I don’t like it very much. I plan to use this little study, the drawing, some reference photos that I took, and memory, to make another picture. I very rarely work from anything other than life, and I find it very challenging to not have the model in front of me. I think it will be a good exercise however, to be able to push around paint, experiment with changes to my usual colour palette, and generally just shake things up without worrying about limited sitting times when priorities are focused elsewhere. It’ll be a back burner project, so it may be a while before it makes it on to the website.