Revisiting a Portrait — August 2019.
“See the World”, 32″ x 24″, oil on linen.
In the fall of 2017, I began a portrait of my friend Scott O’Neill. He posed in our living room holding a ruby glass goblet and wearing a long white Venetian shirt. Behind Scott, above my fireplace mantel, my master copy of Holbein’s Sir Thomas More hangs in a golden frame. For this figure painting, I created an imaginary landscape of clouds, water, and green fields.
You may have seen my blog post about it then or my short YouTube video describing what inspired it.
Artists are rarely satisfied with a finished painting. Revisiting a portrait, in particular, seems like folly because there are so many other wonderful faces and poses to explore. And at the end, you know it’s too late to improve a composition or other fundamentals. But sometimes you know you can still improve what’s on the surface by tweaking colours, some values, and edges. And it’s an opportunity to demonstrate newly-acquired knowledge or skills.
Below, on the left is the revised version; on the right, the original.