Artful Subterfuge

So I was recently shown this interesting article about artistic license. It is quite an interesting discussion about how subtle details and hidden messages can add depth to a piece. The Clinton example especially shows how its not just the subject who creates the character of the piece.

Stuart 13More importantly it has allowed me to reflect on what I have added to my own portraits in this series. For instance, with Stuart’s portrait, none of the words he gave me directly signified the laughter seen. Sure, the words suggested a lack of seriousness and a bit of immaturity, but it was my familiarity with Stuart that brought in this fun energy. I know him to be loud and energetic, and to enjoy laugh proudly.

Even though I tried not to let my own thoughts overly influence the paintings, I guess my subconscious was always going to be there in the background. It can be seen in my other portrait too. To take the current on of Louise as another example, I have always been a little intimidated by her and so that’s probably why I am going down this “evil queen” route.

So whilst I am already subconsciously imparting more character into my portraits, it would certainly be an interesting experiment into ways of adding more character to portraits. For example, in a character piece I could add shadows of out-of-shot character to give an impression of the rest of the scene (for example a mighty monster, or a rowdy crowd), or add wear and tear to their clothing to add personality.

Unfortunately it is too late in the semester to properly explore this and so I will have to leave it until another time.

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Posted on April 2, 2015, in Techniques & Research. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Artful Subterfuge.

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