Although there have officially been two PGA tournaments so far to kick off the 2017 season, in my opinion the real start of the year has always been the Phoenix Open currently sponsored by Waste Management. Don’t get me wrong, watching the Hawaii golf tournaments in January stunning and a great distraction from winter, but it never feels like the crowds are there nor is the TV audience. And I’m sure some of you are thinking nothing could ever replace the grandeur and tradition of Augusta in April and to compare the raucous Phoenix Open to the Masters as the “start” of the season is sacrilege! I’ve had the pleasure of painting Amen corner at Augusta so trust me the tradition of the Masters is not lost upon me.
But the Phoenix open is like my old high school pep rally to start the season. Lots of excited fans in golf’s only stadium hole, the 16th expressing over the top adulation coupled with even boos! Maybe its cabin fever, or maybe it’s because it’s on Super Bowl weekend, but it feels more like watching a football game. You know I will be glued to my TV that weekend for golf followed by football.
The most important thing step in painting a portrait is to actually start painting. Portraiture can seem daunting and overwhelming, but it’s a lot easier to complete a portrait once you begin.
The trick to a realistic portrait is keeping the features of the face at the same scale throughout. A huge nose shouldn’t be paired with little tiny eyes. To solve this dilemma, try to paint from a set amount of feet away from the subject.
Paintings are just sections of colors compiled together to create an image. They’re a chunk of light blue next to a chunk of white next to a chunk of dark blue to create an image of the sea. They’re a chunk of green next to a chunk of brown to create a tree. The more you can break down an image into its component parts of colors, the more exact your painting will be. Try to adjust your thinking to this method, and soon your paintings will be better.
What distinguishing feature “makes” the person you are painting? Do they have an interesting nose or a handsome jawline? Are their eyes placid and docile or are they piercing and intense? Really think about the person and paint them how they should be portrayed.
Create a mood within your painting. If the person was even tempered, maybe try for some rhythmic, smooth brushstrokes. If the person is fiery, spunky, and wild, use eager, fervent, zealous marks on the canvas. If the subject mean or solemn, maybe use blues and greys. If the subject is tall and lanky, maybe orient the canvas vertically to help exaggerate this quality.
Remember that if you’re a novice in the painting world, you can only get better. Try your hand at some portraits, just for fun. You might surprise yourself!
Funny, I’ve done so many private commissions over the years that unfortunately, I’ve lost touch with several of those clients due to distance and just life. However, I got a friendly blast from the past when Dusty Baker called me yesterday and left a message just to say still how much he enjoyed the original oil of Tecumseh that I painted for him 7 years ago!
For those of you Cincinnatian’s that don’t know Dusty, he is a famous ex-pro baseball player and was the Cincinnati Reds Manager until 2013. He is now Manager of the Washington Nationals. I truly enjoyed working with him back in 2010 as he is a super nice guy!
Anyway, I of course called him back an we had a nice chat about life, kids, etc. It’s so gratifying not only having happy clients, but ones that actually want to be friends and stay in touch. Even if they are famous Baseball Managers almost 20 years my senior.
Cheers to you Dusty and your friendship!
Well, it’s certainly not outdoor sports weather here in the great Midwest, but never fear…..there are lot of great indoor sports to keep you busy and in shape, not to mention outdoor sports in other parts of the country. First of all, we have the upcoming Super Bowl on February 5th in Houston, Texas. That is always an excuse to gather with friends and enjoy a great game along with cocktails and rib-sticking food! Not to mention, the PGA Tour is in full swing with tournaments in Hawaii. First, the SBS Tour of Champions at the Plantation Course of Kapalua, January 5-8th and the Sony Open in Honolulu, January 12-15th. Check out my Kapalua original on the web-site just to get a taste!