Oil Painting: Garth Herrick Portrait Demo: Background and Adjustments

Garth Herrick oil portrait

In the next installment of the demonstration, Herrick works on the background.

I needed to address the background foliage to establish a context for the portraits. Things were looking a little dark in the background, so I removed some paint that was just applied with some newspaper sheets. The background needed to appear more open. I corrected the head of the little standing girl. The more the painting came together, the more I realized that I measured her eyes wrong—they needed to move up a little, and the nose needed to be bigger. It was a little painful at first, but in the end it all came together very well. It was a little embarrassing that I had to shift everything about a quarter of an inch. Next, I developed the trees more with a few suggestions of speckled light. I'll make the background more detailed when it’s warranted.

Garth Herrick oil portrait Garth Herrick oil portrait
Garth Herrick oil portrait Garth Herrick oil portrait Garth Herrick oil portrait


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About the Artist
Garth Herrick was a semifinalist in the Smithsonian Institution’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and was awarded a certificate of excellence by the Portrait Society of America at their 2006 International Portrait Competition. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he received the William Emlen Cresson Memorial Traveling Scholarship, the Stewardson Prize, and the Thouron Prize. Herrick’s commissions include portraits of eight notable federal judges, a governor, a mayor and numerous cultural, educational, and business leaders. His work hangs in a number of public, corporate, and private collections. View his work at www.garthherrick.com.

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