Oil Painting: Garth Herrick Portrait Demo: A College President

3 Jun 2008

Garth Herrick portrait demonstrationThe artist takes a break from Of Scions and Sunlight to complete this portrait of a college president.


I often have to interrupt one commission to finish another. Recently, I had to put aside Of Scions and Sunlight to complete this portrait of a college president. I toned the 43”-x-37” canvas with brown ochre light, which is a lot more golden in a transparent state—almost too much.

Garth Herrick portrait demonstration Garth Herrick portrait demonstration Garth Herrick portrait demonstration

As you can see, I was not happy with my first attempt at painting the head, so I simply flipped the canvas and started again. The better start gave me the confidence to proceed. The separate elements of the composition fell into place and became more dimensional in their interrelationships as I covered the golden ground color, piece by piece. Often as I continue to close up passages over the ground, I see where I need to revise and further develop what has already been indicated in paint. There is a quite a lot to do, and the unveiling is coming up quickly. Of Scions and Sunlight will have to wait!

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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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