FIRST PLACE: Daddy Holds Me Tight by Larry Spitzberg
Knowing that the facial details are most important when showing the human figure, I used a large sheet of cold pressed paper. Halfway through the boy’s face, I stopped and said I like that innocent look don’t you dare do any more. I hit some red on the cheek and quit. The next day I looked at the painting and the man’s face was weak. I took a dark color straight from the tube and used the dry brush technique to only hit the hills of the paper and give texture and a weathered look. As luck would have it both worked.
HONORABLE MENTION – Homage to Bob - Kristel Peale
The portrait is of my husband, Bob Peale, who passed away in February of last year. I did this painting shortly after his death. Whereas he had been ailing for some time and was frail and painfully thin at 80, I chose to paint him when he was still as vibrant as the summer day in Natchez when the photo was taken. He was about 50. It is how I want to remember him.
HONORABLE MENTION: Boris in Paradise by Annika Farmer
Boris in Paradise was painted as part of a series I am working on during this COVID 19 social distancing period. All the paintings are based on photographs I have taken on previous vacations.
This was a man I met in a botanical garden in Bermuda, he was wearing a hat that made an interesting pattern on his shirt, and I asked him if I could take his picture, he gladly said yes, but insisted on taking off his hat, so that is how I photographed him.
HONORABLE MENTION: Making Music by Pat Waughtal
A few years ago, my husband and I visited Russia on a trip with the UT Flying Longhorns. The photo of The Music Man was taken outside the Hermitage where a Russian band greeted us with a rendition of Deep in the Heart of Texas. My husband took this photo, and I had wanted to paint it for years because I loved the bright colors and strong contrasts, but was daunted by the details.
After drawing the composition in pencil, I decided to use watercolor pencils to lay in the local colors in all the right places. This helped me not get confused and lost in the details. I used a damp brush and went over the pencil color in the smaller areas of the braid and hat decorations. I mixed my black using alizarin crimson, veridian green and ultra-blue in a small cup so that I would have enough paint to complete the hat and not have to remix. I used my watercolor pencils again to add detail to the braid and deepen shadows in places after I had finished the painting.
I accidentally drew this painting on a sample piece of Winsor & Newton paper. I learned from this experience that I much prefer to work on Arches, my usual paper. Arches has a harder finish and doesn’t abrade as easily.