Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Portrait of Donovan Bailey, Olympic Gold Medalist
This painting was designed to bring attention to the head - the value of the background was lowered and the collar of his shirt on our left (the lightest value mass) brings attention to the face. The suit was the darkest value mass. His hands and cuffs, which can steal the show if you are not careful, are muted in comparison to the head/collar. The watch and ring are represented by an economical number of brushstrokes. I eliminated a lot of bottles of liquor that were sitting behind him, to simplify the design. I didn't paint every wrinkle in his suit, just the ones that showed action.
I had to use photographic references for this painting, since I was only given a grand total of 15 minutes with Mr. Bailey, but I used all the knowledge I have gained in working from life to create the piece. This is definitely not just a painted copy of a photograph.
I also researched Mr. Bailey and read everything I could find written about him, in order to get a handle on his personality and current interests. With this information and what I learned from my initial meeting with him (when he viewed my portfolio) I felt like I had a pretty good sense of the man.