The Story of the Lori Painting

The story is not long. It could actually be told in just a few sentences. And if you want to take a video “shortcut” just go over to my Youtube channel, “Phil Albritton Graphics“, and watch the 33 minute movie version of this little story.

It all began a few years ago when my nephew traveled with his family from Utah across the country to visit us country folks here in south Alabama. They took some photos during that trip and some were posted on Facebook as part of their travelogue. One of those pics was of one of the daughters, Lori, who was sporting a big round straw hat and big fake round glasses with colorful fake jewels covering the frames. I don’t even think there was any glass in the glasses. They appeared to be just cheap fake costume glasses. However, they struck a creative nerve with my artistic consciousness and I said to myself, “Dang! That image would make a really cool painting!”

I messaged my nephew to allow me to use that image to do a painting, and he sent me a couple versions of the same photo event. I picked the one which best reflected the repetition of the round shape; the hat, her little round face, the rounded glasses. When I received the photo, I promptly moved it into Photoshop and proceeded to do some magic with editing and filters to come up with an image I could use for the painting. I wanted it to be large, and it is.

Some time later-I don’t have an accurate timeline-I ordered some stretcher bars and some large roll canvas from Blick. The materials arrived, I put the bars together and stretched the material to make a canvas about 4 feet by 5 feet. Then it set on the shelf of my studio for over a year. At some point in early 2020 I printed the pic and used that as reference to draw off the image on the canvas with pencil. This drawn image on canvas then set again until spring of 2021 when I started to apply paint to the four background corners and along the outside edge of the canvas. Once that was done, I waited again and did some summer motorcycle activities during the prime riding season. A few weeks ago I decided to jump again into the painting and began work on the girl’s hair and her straw hat, all various shades and tints of orange and brown.

Next came the face with at least 3 or 4 shades of flesh color going from an orangish to almost white on the far left side. There is actually a lot of orange and yellow in the average caucasian flesh, skin color…and of course some pinks, but mostly white.

At this writing I am finally on the finishing touches but focusing on the bejeweled glasses around her eyes. These colorful jewels are the bright foils to an otherwise drab, earth tone palette throughout the composition. I had a rather famous painter teacher at the University of Florida once told me to always defy the primary color palette with a touch of bright color somewhere in the canvas. Just a small element would suffice. Like in a landscape of mostly dull greens and browns, have a small figure in bright red walking through the scene. I took that instruction to heart and have never forgotten it. The jewel encrusted glasses provide that element in this work.

Once I get this all done, I will do a good photograph of it for my portfolio and post an image copy here at the appropriate gallery. Don’t forget to check out my other galleries and images at the Galleries Page.

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