A very crisp accomplished portrait.Like the economy of the work ,well done

A super portrait Thea. The eyes are mesmerizing!

Painterly is the word Thea, lovely work and your skill in portraiture shines through.

Lovely work, Thea. I like how you created such compelling features using such minimal washes. A difficult task which you executed admirably!

Thank you very much David, Louise, Derek and Seok for such encouragement. I have never painted a portrait from a black and white photo before and I found it hard to guess about colours, etc. This was also an old photo with a lot of dark shadows, which had to be translated into the right tones. I only really had a stab at it as I don't normally paint adult faces and that was another difficulty. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained and I think I gained a lot from having a go at this portrait.

I can't comment on likeness, but it is as David says. Not having a colour reference should be liberating. Try is again, please.

Wow! I love this portrait Thea, you are soooo talented

How very brave and talented you are, Thea. Stunning result!

Thank you very much Gudrun, Petra, Mia and Satu for the compliments - so much appreciated.

- told you so Thea! Oh, and permit me to vouch for the likeness.

Really good Thea. And how nice that through perserverence you have managed to surprise yourself - although looking at it now I can't imagine which bits made you want to bin it, its all so pared down to essential information.

Really interesting portrait, well done you!

Looks like he has a twinkle in his eye Thea, great portrait.

You didn't put much paint on this Thea, but it's just enough - we can guess the rest. Lovely.

Hi Thea. I am not on the forum, but noted your wise words about the People's portrait. I'm with you. I thought Nicky Philipps had him (face) after the second sitting and then, presumably because she had more sittings, she overworked it and became bogged down with his "history" instead of his life now. She ought to have kept his pullover, the blue one too. His mum summed it up "He looks a bit glum.". I suspect you were right about the NPG having to accept it, which is why it took the committee so long to decide. The unveiling audience were also subdued I thought. It was disappointing.

Hang on Studio Wall

I was sent a black a white photo of Kim's grandfather, who was in the services as a young man, with a challenge to see what I could do with it. The gauntlet had been well and truly chucked down, so I started, faltered badly and then half way through binned the painting. Luckily, I didn't tear it up as I usually do and just stacked it against my bin to go out with the rubbish later. Feeling that I had really failed, I dug it out a few days later and decided just to be brave and go for it. I have to be totally honest that it is not a good likeness but I am pleased with it from a painting point of view because it made me be a lot bolder with colour and tone than I usually am and, in the end, it taught me a lot of things about portrait painting that I needed to learn. Many thanks to Kim for providing the photo, the shove to make me do it and for the things that this challenge taught me. Also, thank you to Kim for the privilege of being able to paint his grandfather and also for allowing me to post it on the gallery.

About the Artist
Thea Cable

I am a watercolourist first and foremost as I love the qualities of the medium, its riskiness and unpredictability. I started painting about 8 years ago and it has now become an integral part of my life. Hopefully, I will continue to paint into my dotage as I am given to understand that you can…

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