Following from my previous post discussing how I would be inspired by this piece, I knew from my source material that I wanted the portrait to be happy and jovial. I also wanted it to be a bit loud and bold as that is an important part of Stuart as I see him. Luckily I had plenty of references of him smiling to draw upon.
As you can see, the style I implemented in this piece is very different from others. In keeping with the bold colours and energetic expression, I wanted my brushwork to compliment the overall expression of the piece. Thus I went for a very rough and painterly style, full of bold strokes and energy.
Whilst I am moving towards expressionism with this piece, I didn’t want to go down the road of using only abstract colours. Instead I kept realistic colours as the base of the skin and hair, and then used my abstract colour scheme in the shading and highlights to make the shapes and face pop. I am really pleased with how this looks and it has encouraged me to be a bit bolder with future attempts.
There are some issues with the piece however, It gets muddy in parts which I repeatedly painted over, trying to get them right, such as the neck and to the left of the mouth. In future I will need to remember to erase and then repaint if I use these brushes again.
Also, I am not sure I quite got the expression right. As was pointed out on Behance, it could be viewed as either laughing out loud, or screaming. I think I managed to pull it more towards the laughing side of things, but the scream is still there a tiny bit.
Regardless I am pleased with this piece. It looks like Stuart, it captures his personality well, and it uses bold, abstract colouring better than I could have hoped for. Yes there are some issues, but this study has given me a lot of confidence to continue down this path and experiment more, as well as teaching me where and when I can go wrong.
The WIP can be found here on Behance, but also I have created another progression gif below.