Three in the Sun

Here is Simon and his sons in conversation in the sunshine.

A painting that started life at the 2010 Enable Charity Ball. Simon, at the top, made the highest bid and won himself the uncommon experience of sitting for a portrait in oils. The three made the trip down to the studio late last summer to chat about the portrait and have some photographs taken. The boys came with a sense of fun and we all agreed to carry the relaxed and casual atmosphere into the final work.

The photo session included sittings inside the studio and also outside in the courtyard. The sun was pretty strong and I didn’t think the outside poses would work, so we didn’t linger on those.

Only when I studied the pics did I get excited about the patterns and contrasts that the bright sunlight threw onto the figures. I liked the triangular composition, and the knitting together of the three men here. The circular journey of the eye from head to head. A difficulty I faced from the beginning was how  to render the shadowed surfaces of skin. The lack of direct light tended to flatten the surface to the point where muscle tone is lost to the eye and tricky to find. I persevered because I felt the strong composition made the challenge of the shadows worthwhile.

It’s a painting that took a long time to finish. Partly because of the complexity of the thing but I was also guilty of putting off the starting of it because I was probably a wee bit feart .

Glad to say it is now with the owner, who came down today with the son on the left. Both were surprised and delighted with the painting. Their delight overcame the strangeness of seeing themselves on a canvas!

~ by David Reid on May 30, 2012.

9 Responses to “Three in the Sun”

  1. Wow! Excellent painting. It’s alive with movement, pattern, lighting and personalities. I think the composition works very well -bringing us into the conversation. The gray back round is wonderful. It has a contemporary feel with old world expression. Certainly worth the challenges. Again, really excellent!

  2. wonderful composition and I love how you used the shadows

  3. Wow! What an amazing piece. Congratulations.

  4. Great work David, I love this painting, it has a real sense of vitality and warmth between the 3 men, your perseverance definitely paid off – the sitters should be thrilled with it ! 🙂

  5. wonderful…love it!

  6. I love this portrait as opposed to a formal portrait they would sit for. Great job!

  7. Thank you for all the generous comments. I am so grateful that you have taken the time to express your liking for this one. I took a chance with it and i’m glad you think it paid off! Cheers, David

  8. Marvelous! I feel I’m walking right up to take part in a completely relaxed conversation. So at ease.

  9. Like it David. Excuse delayed response. Spontaneity in oils!

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