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What's a Nice Guy Like You doing with a Paint Brush?

You might be asking, "Paul, I know you are a photographer, what in the world are you doing with a paint brush?"

That is such a good question.  As a photographer and artist, I am always looking to stretch myself creatively.  For anyone that has followed my work, it is rather easy to see the evolution.  And, rather than give you my life story, let's just say that I am fascinated with art, especially painting.  If I was born in a different age, I am certain that I'd have been a painter.  Yet, the lines between photography and painting have been blurring for the last 20 years.  I, myself, have been painting via the computer with stylus-brush and tablet for twelve years.  And, as I've had some success with that, I wanted to try my hand at doing the real thing.  So, I plunged in.  Was I scared?  Terrified.  As a pretty good artist, my pride was on the line.

And, if the truth be known, I had not painted in oil for 50 years, when I was nine years old.  

What you see here is the transformation from early to finished.  I started on a blank stretcher canvas and sketched in the outline from a photograph.  The subject I chose: me.  I figured if I butchered the image, no one would be hurt.  Besides, if it was good enough for Van Gogh, it was good enough for me.

So, after the initial sketch, I darkened and filled in shadows and line so that I had an identifiable base and shape.  From there, it was a matter of adding in the colors of skin & clothes, nuance by nuance.  You can see the progression.  I have to say, I nearly gave up several times.  Persistence, however, is a wonderful slave, if you don't let all the negative voices paralyze you.    

One of the hardest things, besides getting all of the proportions right, was to get the light dark values right, along with mixing colors.  I have to say, it came out better than I had expected.  Hope you enjoy.

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