Saturday, 13 October 2012

Edward S. Curtis

Edward Curtis is an iconic figure in American history, although somewhat controversial. He was a famous photographer and also wrote the `The North American Indian', an enormous work in 20 limited edition volumes, published between 1907 and 1930. There are over 1500 illustrations of black and white photographs, taken by Curtis over a period of many years commencing about 1895. The Firstpeople site has many if not all and they are free to download and use, but not for profit. If you Google his name a vast amount of links appear.

16" x 12" Centenaire 140lb (300gm) not.

 I started off with a pencil drawing using a 2B pencil. I kept this fairly simple and made no attempt to put in `missing detail'. By this I mean that which isn't visible in the photograph. For the features I used various mixes of Ultramarine Violet (Rowney PV15), Quinacridone Rust (Graham PO48), Cadmium Red Pale and Cobalt and Ultramarine Blue, with a touch of Raw Sienna. The underside of the hat is mainly the same colours in heavier mixes. His beard is combinations of Raw Umber, Raw Sienna plus diluted mixes of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. I allowed the painting to dry thoroughly then made some small changes and additions the following day. The head is silhouetted with the same dark colours. I tried to paint him following Charles Reid's  advice `cruder' rather than fussy and in a more adventurous manner. 

His hat colours are combinations of Ultramarine Violet, Raw Umber and Raw Sienna.The coat is a mixture of Quinacridone Rust and Raw Umber. 

Brushes used were the Da Vinci Artissimo 44 Size 2 Kolinsky and the Isabey 6228 Size 4. 


Mick Carney said...

The face and hat in this are beautifully rendered, however the lack of any hint of neck area below chin on left and the white line on the right appear make the head detached. It's an easy fix and then you'll have a really good portrait.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for comments Mick. I may tinker with it or I may not... It's really an exercise to be discarded. Certainly not a saleable subject - at least in the UK.

Yvonne Harry said...

Ver nice Peter. I love the hat and the shadowy upper part of the face!

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Yvonne.