It's that time again - time to try to capture one of these cute kiddos on canvas.
This time, it's my third child who was in the studio posing for me.
In case you're not tracking, my wife Deirdre and I have a sizable little posse now. Our little man here, from the middle of the pack, is one of the most vivacious little guys you could hope to come across. (In fact, it's fair to say that he's a more vivacious little boy than some people can handle.)
Having him in the studio was delightful. But it was also a bit of work to get a pose out of the little guy! On top of being lively, t.a.l.k.a.t.i.v.e, and squirmy, he's also one of the most facially expressive people I know. One second the light would be just right and the pose would be almost getting there... and the next second the moment would have passed and he'd be leaving us in his dust. But we got some good shots in spite of him!
I'm including a few of the outtakes here to give you a sense of his larger-than-life personality:
This is him on very restrained behavior, doing his best to be still and good:
I believe he would have provided excellent material for Rockwell.
But, as much as I love the comical side, I do want to focus on one of these images that will translate more naturally into a formal oil portrait.
So let's talk about some of these options:
A. This shot is lovable for the tight energy and high contrasts. I'm a fan of the warm gold going on here, of his hair looking neat and tidy, and of the twinkle in his eye. Beyond that, it's not the best depiction of someone who's generally rough-and-tumble and rowdy as a puppy.
B. The color and contrast are good; it's a fun, thoughtful pose. This has an air of 'The dreamer.'
C. The abundance of light and color in this is very winning. It's a good amount of focus while also capturing something of the electricity of his smile. I like that we have a good view of his eyes.
D. This is a very sweet shot and, again, I love the warmth of this background and the soft tones in the face. It captures the little boy time of his life, but we are losing a great deal with his eyes averted.
E. In terms of photography, this is the weakest of the bunch. But we find that the shot captures his smile perhaps most authentically of all the pictures taken. Although the focus isn't the best, I'm considering making use of this image.
F. Has many of the good qualities of E with a bit more polish.
The jury is still out on this one. Lots to think about here. (Most likely, my final decision will also involve another look at the cropping, as these were quickly cropped for the purposes of this post.)
Tell me: which one or ones is/are your favorite? Comment below -- Maybe you can help me decide what should end up on canvas!
Let's talk about how 2022 is the perfect year for you to have your/your loved one's portrait painted.
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It's a good time for celebrating the human person, particularly as discovered in the face. There's really no good way to abstract the face, because faces are essentially personal. Your face. Your loved one's face. A good portrait should give a sense of the whole person, but of course will focus on that all-important face.
Our culture has been suffering from a defacing -- literally, a lack of faces. The effect has been chilling. Misunderstanding and fear are two of the major byproducts of this rejection of the essential goodness of the human face.
But this is not how we were meant to live. We were made to relate to, to connect with, to love one another. So much of this hinges upon our ability to communicate with each other and understand one another, face to face. We're not just statistics, we're people.
So, I say, let's get some portraits painted!
Why have a portrait painted?
Here are a few reasons why you might be looking for a painted portrait:
Here's the fun part.
I'm offering a 36% discount off of any studio portrait booked by Feb 28.
Why 36%? Because I just turned 36. (We wanted this announcement to go out on my birthday [Jan 11], but we've honestly just been too busy until now!)
What does that look like, in terms of savings? See below:
Can you tell I'm eager to dive in here?
The Fine Print
Click here to see my portrait page for more on pricing and what the painting process looks like!
Any questions? Feel free to comment below! Peace!
I am pleased to announce the launch of my current project: a series of paintings and general focus of my work surrounding the theme of The Faces of New England.
No doubt you immediately think of human faces -- and so do I. I am available to take on portrait commissions and will be excited to have local patrons who want to be part of this project and who want their faces to represent the beautiful states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. There is no one face that encapsulates the character of this region. I myself will be scouting out subjects that I think embody some aspect of New England and what it means to me. The possibilities here are vast and fascinate me! What are the New England "types?" Are there some folks who may not immediately come to mind, but who deserve to be included? Who do you believe represents New England?
I will also be seeking out the Face of New England in the landscape and architecture of the area. Those spots that give us our character; sights and buildings that make New England memorable; places that people come from elsewhere to see -- or perhaps would, if they knew about them!
Finally, this theme will make its way into my still life work within the studio. I'll be looking to include objects and products unique to New England within my still life paintings. I'm excited to find inspiration in the things that are around us that we perhaps take for granted: natural objects, artisan products, New England furniture, etc. Keep this in mind for a custom still life request: you might have something that's near and dear to you that you'd like incorporated - and frozen in time - in a still life painting. And, if so, I'd love to hear the story behind it!
As we know, Boston is the most prominent city in this region. I'm very proud to be taking my traditional, Boston School training and applying it this way to look all around the region and develop a series that will be meaningful to everyone who cares about this part of the country.
What are your favorite places in New England? Do you know someone who somehow embodies the the region or one of the states, specifically? What are the hidden treasures of this beautiful area that are waiting to be preserved in art? I'd love to hear!
I'll have more to say about this project as it develops!
Hello there, I'm John H. Folley, an oil painter in the Boston School tradition. Thanks for visiting the Beauty Advocacy Blog, where it's my job to help you become a more discerning art appreciator.
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