Every since I took Art History courses back in college, Renaissance and Old Master portraits have held a special fascination for me. Lately I’ve been indulging that interest by painting digital portraits that have the look and feel of the Quattrocento. As it turns out, there are many others who also have a love of history–so much so, in fact, that they participate in re-enactments of historical battles. Others work during the summer months attired in Renaissance garb, spouting “Prithee” and “Huzzahs” all day long. Renaissance Faires are found all over the country, and if you’ve never attended one, I highly recommend it. They’re a lot of fun. Photographs of people dressed in historical costumes are nearly irresistible to me, as a portrait subject. Luckily for me, there are some talented photographers who’ve posted great images online for all to see, and use as reference. I am grateful to these generous individuals. The works that follow could not have been created without them.
I’ve been making a conscious effort to use photographs as just the starting point for my historical portraits. As you’ll see, in the last example, the painting and the photo look nothing like each other. To me, this is a sign that I’m growing as an artist. I’m relying less and less on Painter’s clone tool. It’s kind of like learning to ride a bike without training wheels. Scary, but fun. You can see much larger versions of these, and other paintings, at my online gallery.