Portrait of Margaret Campbell

This is a portrait of my daughter, Margaret (Maggs) Campbell. I really liked the idea of the sunlight crossing the picture. I don’t mind admitting that was difficult to paint. The light caused so many little subtle variations in colour and tone as it crossed the face. It was difficult to control the underlying base flesh tones as a result.

If you look at the left hand side there is more of a crimson/pinkish hue add to that the sunlight is at its most intense on that side (Margaret was posed right next to a window here). As the light traverses the nose becomes nothing more than an almost white stripe and the shadow cast by the nose is dark and intense in contrast to the highlights on the nose and cheek. Note how light as also been reflected into that shadow making the shadow colour and tone vary. Finally on the right-hand side of the face there is a thin band of reflected colour as the light is bounced off a nearby wall back on to Margaret.

There is a similar pattern of ever changing colour and tone in the background wall where the bands of light continue on. The window had louvre blinds hence the banding… My very favourite bit is the right eye. This ball of fluid has been lit up by the intense light. How wrong would it have been to have made the eyes the same colour here…


Portrait of Margaret Campbell

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