Throwback Thursday: Jennabeth

Ten years ago I painted a couple of portraits of this friend of mine named Jennabeth. I knew her from church. She had extremely long blond hair and a sharp, brooding look to her eyes.

Jennabeth, 2003. Oil on canvas, 22 x 22 inches.

At the time, I was still painting with bright, unnatural colors on brightly-toned canvases, allowing the underpainting to show through. The highlights of the hair is built up with thick impasto. The lilies are her favorite flower. I’ve since lost touch with this friend. It’s funny how people float in and out of your life over the years.

Jennabeth 2, 2003. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches.

I did this other painting in more realistic colors, but it looks rather unfinished. I’m not sure if I just stopped, or if this is how I imagined it. Remember, I liked to keep the Cerulean-toned canvas showing. In this case, nearly the whole background is just toned canvas. I must say I did a pretty decent job modeling the face and using complementary colors to create shadows. This is about when I grew tired of showing the toned canvas, since her face looks like a mask — her forehead doesn’t seem to go under her hair — and the stripes on her sweater make her look like Bibendum (The Michelin Man). I do like the looseness of the brushwork.