Day 1.

My friend, artist, Tina Hannay suggested I go bigger! So, this time the head pretty much fills the A3 sheet.

Here’s my first effort.

Come back each day and check my progress. I am hoping that each portrait will show some improvement!

My first observation is that they eyes are not quite the right shape yet and the right side of the face is a little large.  Still, this is just day one.

Day 2.

While I am working on shaping and darker undertones, Ricky appears to have changed race. This simply reminds me of how beautifully alike humanity really is and how subtle our differences. If only the world would understand that.

Well, this is where I reached, today. I still need to work on shaping. I need to continue with the eyes, to increase their realism. I also need to work out a) how on earth to form his beard and b) how to finish his hair. I keep choosing book covers where most of the subjects hairstyles are not on the page! I need to get the lips right and then I need to start the layers of light paint, to lighten the skin tones to more akin with the photograph.

Here is today’s progress, early in the day:

I put a watercolour wash over the face to begin lightening the skin tone. I rather liked the blue that came through the grey. I can see my subject somehow far more clearly, it’s as if I need this to be blue in order to fully develop it. AnD also

was tempted to make him blue and white rather than black and white. I feel I can somehow see him better, in blue.

Progress at the end of day two:


I’m told I need to continue with skin tone and the nose must be shortened and lips raised. I need to continue working on the eyes and then, eventually, tackle hair and beard,

Not a lot left to do, then! 😉

Come back again and see my next progress update.

Day 3.

I know you’ll be thinking three things, most likely.

1) Why is he blue?

2) Why is he African?

3) That’s not Ricky Martin.

In my defence, I’m building up layers. He will change. I’m genuinely connecting with him using blue. I know not why but, since this is art, I’m happy to go with it. I think I can’t see him except in blue. Literally.

It is Ricky Martin, but some aspect of him. It’s what I’m seeing. It will evolve.

Portraits are tricky for me. I have prosopagnosia. I guess that’ll make my portraits a little unique! I’ll call that my style. Who knows, you may like it! Maybe I’ll even like it! I’m fascinated about how prosopagnosia will influence my portraits. This may become a subject I’ll do something with.

The image will increasingly look like Ricky, over coming days; in spite of the fact that he’ll be blue! Bear with me.

Would this be an interesting theme for a study, an article or an exhibition? How prosopagnosia affects my portrait painting? I’m hugely challenged by this. My difficulty in recognising elements of a particular face and translating them/interpreting them into art! Well, it makes my portraits somewhat unique, I guess!

This may be a subject I need to work on as a theme? What do you think?

Or maybe I should just try landscapes? 😁

I’ll see you tomorrow. Thanks for checking in.

Day 4.

Progress. My handsome blue African gentleman is gradually becoming Latin American, I think.

Much thanks to my friend, Tina Hannay, for helping me to think about the face blindness and to learn from the works of other artists with the same difficulty.

Do come back and check on my further progress. Feel free to comment with your thoughts, below.

Day 5.

Love it or hate it, here is my finished Ricky Martin:

What do you think? Does it just about pass as Ricky Martin?

Either way, it is my own depiction of a hugely talented performer, humanitarian and important role model to gay men around the world. I hope he would like it, despite being painted blue!

Here he is, for those of you who see the world in a more usual way, through a black and white filter:

I highly recommend his autobiography, by the way.

(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2019.

2 Responses

    • Hi Tracy, Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. I’m enjoying painting, as a hobby. I am just learning as I go. All feedback is helpful. Thanks and do let me know your thoughts as I continue to progress the portrait. Dean.

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