From Tadema… a head study in gouache
I would not normally post twice in the same day, but we have company coming for the weekend. Since this one went a little faster than I expected, I’ll go ahead and post it. After several days of drawing faces from old masters’ paintings, I was eager to try painting one.
I’m an unapologetic fan of the work of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Some people today consider his work too sweet… too “pretty”. To each his own, I suppose, but I think his work is quite beautiful, especially his romanticized paintings of women. I would love to be able to paint women with the sensitivity that he was able to bring to a canvas. This little head study was taken from Alma-Tadema’s A Coign of Vantage (an advantageous position), painted in 1895. It’s just now occurred to me that, since the original painting is only 25″ x 17.5″, the head in my study is probably pretty close to the same size as the original.
This was done in about three hours. I’d be tempted to spend more time on it, to see if I can smooth out and refine the brushwork, but I probably will just leave it alone. This is probably the best face I’ve painted in gouache so far, and I would really hate to ruin it. It passes the five foot test.
I feel pretty good about this one.