I had never really painted portraits prior to November 1, 2015 when I began Chantel Barber's online portrait class. Chantel has a very unique style and I was eager to learn. Although I have been unsuccessful in adapting to her style (which is beautiful !) I did learn so much from her and with practice, practice and more practice, I feel like I am making progress. Here is my very first assignment, which I think was a timed assignment in which we were to study a photograph and then paint it without referencing the photo in a short time, but no matter.....it's awful. Pretty scary, eh? (I am divulging my vulnerable side!)
If you follow my blog, you know that I wanted to learn to paint portraits so that I could paint the refugee children of Lebanon and Palestine in what I am calling "The Innocents Project." I have painted six portraits of refugee children so far, and will continue for as long as I am able. I hope to raise awareness of the dire situations thes innocent children face, and to bring focus and attention to the great work that ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) does to help them and their families. Someday, somehow, I hope these paintings will not only raise awareness, but will raise money for ANERA's valiant efforts to serve these children and their families. Please visit their website: www.anera.org
and make a donation if you are so inclined.
Today, I spent the day rearranging facial features and skin tones to reflect my current level of ability. It is a very powerful (and rewarding) kind of feeling that an artist can move eyes closer or further apart, and adjust noses, lips, etc. I also changed all the backgrounds of the paintings to reflect a more optimistic and hopeful color. After much thought, I decided that I want to present the children playing outside on a sunny, blue-skied day, imagining a beautiful playground with real swings and slides and sandboxes. The previous background was rather depressing, so I am much happier with this choice. Here is a photo of all six revised paintings. I hope you will provide feedback.
Aren't they beautiful children? They deserve so much better!
Thank you for reading my blog.