Friday, April 26, 2013

Work in Progress-heading to Kenya!


The fun of being a portrait artist is that I never know what's around the corner-no two portraits are alike! 
Recently a client came to me and is returning to her native Kenya for a visit that coincides with the 50th anniversary of that country's independence. So, we came up with the idea of a portrait of the 4 presidents who have held office during that time period.....plus the addition of the Kenyan flag and several monuments. 
The only way to create this portrait idea and make it reality is as a collage...but the surprise was that it was flying to Kenya in a suitcase which nixed the first choice medium-pastel!

Now pastel can take a fair amount of abuse. And once it is framed and behind glass, it will be around for generations!  I ship pastels all over the world but I do not ship them with glass! 

So right now I am hustling! The only photos are random AP news footage that she had pulled off the Internet and since it is for her own enjoyment and as a gift to a friend, it's OK to use them. But that also means there are few good ones for our purpose! The hustle part comes with deadlines vs an oil painting.......of our most popular mediums-pastel, pencil, watercolor and oil...., oil takes the longest to dry. So today I am back out in the studio, trying not to procrastinate in what promises to be a sterling day outside....ah well, I'll just open up the studio doors!
Here's a peek:

The gentleman at the upper left is Jomo Kenyatta, the first president. The upper right man is his son, many years later who is the current president, Uhuru Kenyatta. And waiting to be completed (well actually they all are-this IS an unfinished oil!) is Daniel Arap Moi and  Mwai Kibaki.

The space between the top two figures will be filled with the Kenyan flag and two popular monuments-soft focus as the emphasis is on the 4 men.

Somewhere I have to figure out where to put the "50 years" that the client wants included.....the real fun of this at times is the "winging it" part! No photoshopping or printing on canvas for me. You can see the pencil lines on the gray background of Moi who is unstarted, but I will step back to see where I want to add the other elements and apply my 25 years of wisdom there! Now that's MY idea of freedom of art! Keep an eye out as I have several other works in progress without quite the tight deadline! 

1 comment:

Miriam Hughes said...

Pan Pastels do not have dust - I combine them a lot with stick pastels and it decreases the issues.

This looks like an amazingly exciting commission! I can't wait to see the finished piece.

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