When it comes to choosing a subject to paint, one of the most
convenient is the face you see in the mirror every day. But
self-portraiture comes with a complicated set of questions—how do you
see yourself versus how do you present yourself? What are you trying to
communicate with the work? Who will see it and why? Perhaps the most
important questions of all: What are you as the artist hoping to get
out of the process?
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then a painter
needs to get them right when creating a portrait. But the "oval, circle, dot"
anatomy of the eye that we all first learned as children is far removed from
how to give the illusion of a real eye in your work. Here are a few tips about
painting the eye that I like to keep in mind. I hope these will help guide you when it comes
time to depict this particular facial feature.
Kevin Macpherson is a renowned artist and instructor with 30 years of plein air painting experience. For newcomers, painting en plein air means literally, painting “in the open air,” and is the genre associated with painting outdoors. In 1996, Macpherson challenged himself to what I’d call a painting marathon or Iron Man or something equally intense.
Painting the people and places one sees every day can be either a
mind-numbing trial or an impetus for creativity that just happens to be
homeward bound. For New Jersey-based artist Michael de Brito--who has
spent the last several years painting family members and friends in
familiar surroundings, such as his grandmother's kitchen--it is the