Thursday, November 04, 2010

"Bianca in red", plein air, 12x16, oil on masonite by Maryanne Jacobsen, impressionist portraits, plein air portraits, mudheads, Hensche study

"Bianca in Red", plein air, 12x16, oil on Masonite

This impressionist painting looks great when you are looking at it from across the room. Get closer and it's a lot of knife strokes and heavy texture. It was painted with mostly a palette knife, though I used a brush at the end to give her features some definition. The model was wearing red and was backlit, and the red parasol had a strong influence over the entire composition, so there were some challenges involved in making a convincing statement of light. Although you can't tell from the photo of Bianca below, she had this marvelous little slice of light across her left cheek, and that was the whole reason for the painting!
I was especially happy that I was able to just mass in the hands and make them look convincing.

I am a huge fan of John Singer Sargent, and was fortunate to see some of his paintings recently when I visited the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine. One of his paintings, "Breakfast in the Loggia", always fascinated me, because of the way in which he just massed in the hands with a few deft brushstrokes. Click on the photo of his painting below to see what I mean:

I love impressionism. I am a little sad that it has not reached the level of popularity that we currently see in styles like representational realism. That being said, I'm happy for the painters that paint in that style, but will continue to follow my heart and stick with impressionism.

If you are interested in this painting, simply send me an email at


Roxanne Steed said...

love, love, love this!! Looks like John's workshop was a great one, too! I'd love to hear more about it from you (I'm a Hensche fan, too!!).

Susan Roux said...

Thanks for showing us your photo. I love the romance you brought to it. Her hair is marvelous! You saw something in this photo that spoke to you and you went with your feeling. Lovely!

Some of us try to be more impressionist, but the representational takes over...

Paintdancer said...

Hi Susan,
Actually it became very windy out there and her hair kept blowing all around her face. So I can't really take credit for trying to make her look more romantic. I just was painting what I was seeing!

Thanks so much for your nice comments:0)

Susan Roux said...

I posted a link to you today.

shirley fachilla said...

Susan Roux posted a link and I followed it! Glad I did.
I love your painting. Your comment about it becoming just brushstokes up close reminded of a beautiful Van Gogh I saw in D.C. Up-close just beautiful brushstrokes, six feet away transformed into a woodland view.