Portrait: My Sister-in-Law in Caricature
Portrait: My Sister-in-Law in Caricature

“Happiness is going shopping with my sister-in-law. She’s got the traits of my husband that I like, with the added bonus of her love of shopping!” – Anon.

In my latest practice at portraiture, I thought I would try to paint my sister-in-law.  She won’t thank me for the end result; something of a caricature and an image that is probably of a version of her twenty years older than she actually is!  That said, I rather like the end result because, for me, it captures her sense of fun.  Anyway, it’s in the eye of the beholder so we will each see different things.

As practice, this is far more about the process (this is what an artist says to rescue his/herself when the art is perhaps a little….erm…well, ‘interesting’).  For me, as a person who has Parkinson’s, which makes having a steady hand rather difficult, and prosopagnosia, which means that I have face-blindness, the fact that I can cobble together anything of an image is something that I am happy enough with!

I started out by building the head in blue acrylic:

I then started to explore the face and I identified certain shapes that helped me build the next layers:

From there, I continued the process but gradually introduced a little white acrylic and a little crimson; to varying degrees depending on the shade I was seeking.  In effect, the portrait is made of blue, white and crimson acrylic.

I then added in some black fine tip pen and, to finish, I went over the face in a chestnut brown coloured pencil; just to even the tones a little and made a few shading additions in ordinary grey pencil. As it was almost 4am by the time I was finishing, I decided to change the clothing a little, just for my own ease. This practice is all about the face.

Here is the final result:

It’s not quite my sister-in-law, but I can see hints of her.  Nonetheless, the image is one that makes me smile for, to me, this character is filled with her humour and sense of fun.

(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2019.

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