The next step in my process of abstracting the emotions from an early photograph of Mike and Mom (see yesterday’s post), is to paint with a broad brush (literally). For me, the salient features in the original photograph my brother’s eye and my mother’s smile. Mike is probably about 12 years old here. Mike is my older brother, who is autistic, low functioning and has never spoken.
This is the first stage of the study:
I filled in the details in the next stage.
I wanted to emphasize the hug, so I outlined it in charcoal. Mike’s eye seems fearful, which isn’t the exact emotion I wanted to convey. I paid more attention to that than his mouth in this study. As for my mother, she has a genuine smile in the photo. But I know how much of a heartbreak Mike was to her and how she was angry at the situation at times. It seems that my skill in not painting true likenesses came in handy today. The caricature of Mom’s mouth and her downcast eyes tell a story more truthful to me than the photograph.