Portrait of John Campbell after Titian

 

 

 

Painted this portrait of my son, John about 10 years ago. The pose and style were influenced a Titian portrait, Man in a Blue Sleeve originally painted in 1509. This pose has such a power. Always better in portraiture to turn the head away from the body. Here the body is side on. The sitter looks out at us, his sidewards glance adds so much more character. There is also a very strong light source. In the case of the original Titian, the light hits full on the left side of the face. Throwing the other side into deep shadow. I positioned John right beside a window. The only light is that of daylight echoing the Titian painting. Notice the way the elbow on the Titian resting on a shelf. This gives a much more three-dimensional effect, almost like the subject was not completely “in” the picture. Also in the original the sleeve is a work of genius. So beautifully rendered. It dominates the front of the picture and the picture as a whole, beautiful. In John’s portrait I wanted, in contrast, to have a T-shirt and jeans look to emphasise the 21st. century version and I intensified the yellow behind the shadow area of John’s face to tonally deepen the effect of light and shade.

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Portrait of John Campbell after Titian

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