William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Friday, February 13, 2009

#20: The Human Face

My Fellow Art Lovers:
What I am about to say has been said many, many times. It has been felt deeply many, many times. It has been written about, and sung about, and most certainly painted many, many times. But here I am. I am going to say it one more time.
The human face is an amazing thing.
It is a great pleasure for me to paint faces. Painting a face, and trying to express the person's character and emotions and situation is - for me - the greatest challenge in painting.
While painting a portrait, I can make just the smallest changes, just extend a line near the eye, or enlarge a small spot of color, and the impact of the face changes, the expression changes. I can just change a color, or extend a color closer to the eye or the nose, and suddenly the face is right, or it is wrong.
Transmitting what a person feels goes far beyond getting the proportions correct, even though this is important. And even though the artist can make the decision to alter what he or she sees to achieve a certain effect.
It's so important to be willing to experiment, to be willing to add a darker color here or use a different brush stroke there. Sometimes, while painting, I tell myself that if I try to change something, I may ruin what I have already achieved. But I have to force myself to keep pushing.
The achievement is when everything clicks, and the person suddenly comes alive, and you can see the emotion.
The top portrait is a woman with a bright, sparkling personality and a positive outlook on life. I think I did capture something of her, although I could go further.
The second portrait is yours truly. I had a self-portrait that I started maybe a year or so ago, and never completed. One painter, whose opinion I respect, told me that you should not rework paintings from the past, because your outlook and skill level have changed. So, I used the unfinished self-portrait as practice. There is something of me there. Perhaps someone out there will have an opinion.
The landscape you see on the bottom has a story. I had constructed a frame with a wooden panel for another purpose, but the original purpose evaporated. I decided to copy a landscape from Normandy on it. The landscape is a view of the village of Reviers, one of the most beautiful scenes I've painted.
Painting on the smooth surface gave the landscape an entirely different feeling, both in the application of the paint and in the final appearance.
What do you think?
As always, I'd love to hear your reactions to these paintings. As always, thanks for your time and your continued support.
William Kosman