Painting of the Week

Painting of the Week – Brittany Loves Biking

Connecting the Subject to the Background

Connecting the Subject to the Background

When I was in college, I took a portrait painting class from Jack Youngquist, a masterful artist and instructor at MSUM. One day Dr. Youngquist modeled for a caricature. He had told us to exaggerate his characteristics. He held mine up for the class stating it was the best. Truth be told, I just drew him the way he looked as he was nothing short of interesting. The experience paid off when yours truly was asked to resign from her job as a nurse’s aide. They recommended I look for work more suited to my personality. That weekend I made $42.00 drawing portraits at the Shady Hollow Flee Market in Detroit Lakes, charging $3.00 for kids & $5.00 for adults. The price for kids went up because they didn’t sit still. I drew portraits and caricatures for the last three years of college to pay my bills.

This summer, I painted “Brittany Loves Biking” during a Red River Watercolor Society workshop. In college, I was scared I’d ruin a portrait when I added the background, so I would just fill in a color.  My professors challenged me to think more about the importance of the background, and I spent an independent semester studying them. This piece becomes more of a painting than a portrait because I was connecting the subject to the background. The key is using an open shape. See how light background shapes bounce up towards her profile – which is similar in value (lightness or darkness of a color) inviting you to explore.







October 3-4 | 12:00-6:00 p.m.

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