Backlit Girl, 6x6" oil, ©Diane Mannion
Part of the reason I enjoy doing the 30 Paintings in 30 days challenge is the chance to experiment and push style and technique. This little head study caused me lots of grief, thought I'd post it before giving up. It went through many rub-outs and scrapings!
Wanted to paint a backlit effect. Girl kept becoming different characters, from about age 6 to 20. My original photo reference was terribly distorted, the model was 17 and looked nothing like this. So put it aside and made the whole thing up from imagination. Not easy and I'm not thrilled with.
Here's one of many early versions. Wish I had photographed each one!
Didn't like how the head was too close to the top. Thought bringing down some glowing light and blurring form would help. Felt the face was too stiff and mouth was wrong.
Love Sargent's quote: "A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth."