Learn from Michelle

The One That Fits

“It is important to express oneself...provided the feelings are real and are taken from your own experience.” -Berthe Morisot
Have you ever come up with a concept for a painting that you just HAVE to do?
"A Study in Pastels" was one of those for me, but how many times does the actual artist go on the other side of the camera lens? Maybe not for you, but for me, it is VERY rare. So, selecting the right subject for what I have in mind makes a HUGE difference.
Usually, the top requirement is that the person is willing to put up with my crazy ideas. For instance, this is NOT a dress. 😂 I actually used a bolt of tulle and wrapped it around the subject's body. Then, I made a bow-like object to lay over her chest to make the top of the dress. Finally, tulle was draped down her arms and in her hair to make the veil. The only thing real? I brought in a hairdresser to fix her hair into an updo with flowers.
The best/worst part of it all? This is nothing like anything the subject would actually wear. She doesn't wear makeup, she doesn't wear pastels (especially pinks and purples), she doesn't wear dresses except on occasion, and she doesn't go around with flowers in her hair.
So how in the world did I talk her into this, right?
Well, I had a little pull since she was dating my son, and obviously, I didn't scare her off since they're married now. 😅 But really that had nothing to do with it. Instead, I made her comfortable. I explained to her my vision clearly and in detail. And before I got her into any crazy makeshift tulle dress, we actually did a short black-and-white photoshoot first. It was just something completely opposite that helped her get a little more comfortable in front of the camera. Also, I didn't let anyone in the studio except for me, her, and the hairdresser. She's meek and mild and did NOT want an audience. Easy enough to honor.
Now even though I am expressing myself through her portrait, it's still important to capture the essence of that person somewhere within the painting. Though none of it seemed to fit her in the making of the photograph, you can still find her within the painting (and not just her face).
As artists, it's not only about finding a willing subject (though that does help). It's about finding the subject that fits.
And F.Y.I. — it's even more gratifying when the ones that aren't necessarily "over the moon" are pleasantly surprised and delighted with the painting.
Hand-painted in Adobe Photoshop CC using the Wacom Intuos Pro and the Wacom Art Pen.
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