Portrait Society of America Prizewinners Showcase

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST, August/September 2001.

When Michael Shane Neal first met Dr. Flanagan he knew he had to paint his portrait. “He has one of those great heads, solid and angular with a handsome flowing beard. He strikes me as someone out of a Henry James novel, the look of a man from Sargent’s era and the Gilded Age,” said Shane. He thought it would be terrific fun to try and create a traditional gentleman’s portrait, so began painting two oil sketches of Dr. Flanagan from life on two separate occasions. This gave him the opportunity to get to know the subject better through conversation and interpret him in paint. Later, he completed a photo shoot, taking approximately 100 photographs of the subject in various poses, and different lighting conditions. He then began work on the final canvas. Shane used a limited palette of less than 10 colors and white, a medium of turpentine in the early stages of painting and a combination of poppy seed oil and turpentine in the later stages.