I have a beautiful friend who goes by Stefunny. I decided to attempt her painting during an army training I had to complete. It was a great way to ease the stress from perilous outdoor adventures and overthinking my future.
I actually bought an acrylics painting set and some very inexpensive sketching paper to complete the work.
I’ve been very taken with Van Gogh in recent years, reading everything I could about him one night for no particular reason at all. Having worked at a psychiatric hospital, I feel that I can see him more clearly with my mind’s eye; I can feel who he was, and it grants me more meaning when absorbing his art. One of my favorite paintings of his is of a physician who treated him, Dr. Gachet:
Inspired by blues, I began to paint Stefunny. Here’s the reference picture:
Unlike some of my other paintings, I did not measure scale; the idea is to create more of an impression instead of an exact copy. What do I see when I look at the photo, instead of what is exactly in the photo.
I added more oranges to lighten the mood of the painting. This is the final result.
The navy of the whale is a little bit darker than the navy I used in Emily’s painting. I wanted the whale to stick out, but not be quite so obvious, so that it would look like one cohesive beard from far away. There are navy swirls all over his beard, but it’s hard to make it out in these photos.
When I add sharpness and contrast to the photo of the painting, you can get a better feel of the paint strokes that you see when looking at it in person.
I hope Ben likes the painting. It looks great alongside Emily’s:
The blue looks much brighter than in my last post, because I took this picture in the sunlight (the other one was taken in the evening inside my home). I actually like this blue tone, the more I paint. I think I’ll keep it as it is.
The whale will be navy, to match the navy shirt of Emily’s portrait. I’ll also add some navy throughout his beard, and possibly use it to color in the “B” on his hat.
You’ll notice I’ve changed the direction of his eyes slightly to the left. I also did this to better match Emily’s portrait. Their original pictures had them looking straight at the camera, but I decided shift their eyes for more whimsy and interest.
Here’s Emily’s finished portrait for reference:
Ben’s portrait should be done by this weekend. I hope to send it Saturday morning.
After spray-painting gold, chrome, and silver in strategic spots on the painting, I added another layer:
But, it still wasn’t complete. I felt I needed to add depth, and soften the red shadows on the legs…
Here’s the finished painting:
20 x 24 canvas
It’s hard to tell by looking at this photo, but the silver spray paint I used created a metallic shine on certain parts of the painting, including near the Nike check on the red shoe, and near the toe of the blue shoe.
I tried to capture the shine in this photo, by tilting the painting to catch the sunlight:
It’s hard to see it in the photos, but it’s brilliant in person. Almost like mirrors.
I colored the edges of the canvas in the same style as the painting:
I created my own shipping box for this one, using a box I had on hand. I filled it with packing pillows and crushed paper. I used loads of tape for extra reinforcement. Naturally, my hands are tired from the cutting.
Here’s the final version of Emmalie’s requested portrait!
I added color to the background with light washes, which overlapped the kids just a little and deepened the saturation.
I decided not to outline the entire work in black, but you’ll see that I did outline the outer edges of their heads and the bottom of their busts. With touches of drips and drops, the painting was complete!
I think it’ll look nice framed, with an olive green, brown, navy, or maroon matting.
Here is a close-up:
I believe he has brown eyes, but I thought it would be fun to add blue, and a tiny bit of green. They look much more blue in these photos than when viewing the painting in person.