Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lisa the Model, by Karen Martin Sampson

I met Lisa a few years ago at the life drawing group I attend on Tuesday mornings. She has a wonderful,energetic, and very beautiful drawing style and I was impressed with her work. She also was the model for us on a couple of occasions and proved to be inspired at getting those great poses we all dream of having for our drawings. I was planning a fairly formal portrait for my entry into the Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists exhibit in 2006 so I asked if she would pose.

Her face is very expressive and she has wonderful penetrating eyes. She came out to my place in Sayward and I had her wear a purple satin robe that I owned and tried a number of poses, props, and settings. I find it is always a bit nerve wracking when I actually get to have a model to work with and then I stumble through various ideas for posing. I try different types of lighting, various backdrops and props and never seem to connect with that special awe inspiring look I'm after. I make do with what I get and often it is just exactly what I needed once I look at all the shots I have taken. Sometimes I incorporate the best parts of different photos (like using the hands from one, the angle of the head from another, etc.) but in this case the chosen shot had everything pretty well placed. There is mystery and some pensiveness but also a dash of irreverence. The warm lighted side is in strong contrast to the cooler shadowed side and I used a complementary palate of yellows and violets. I frequently emphasize the colours I see in skin tones and did so here. I worked on this painting for some months and was able to enter it in the show for jurying just in time. It was juried into the Calgary show, won an Award of Excellence in Oil Painting and used as the cover image for the small brochure about the show.

Lisa moved away, somewhere in England, and I don't believe has seen the painting! It has been shown now in several cities and received very positive attention. I also used it for a gallery page image in an issue last year
of The Artist Magazine.

Please click here to be taken to Karen's website and her excellent gallery of works.

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