The Value of Sittings from Life


Last week I had the most wonderful experience with a family I am painting from Florida.  They were gracious enough to pack their bags and come for sittings in my studio.  A very large portrait, I have enjoyed the challenge of composing the painting and developing the diverse elements of the portrait.  Although I request sittings with most of my subjects, this session was particularly valuable for refining likenesses and altering several of the important details.  Working with my sitter, I gained invaluable insight as to the character of the dress and how the folds should fall while seated. We had a chance to create the “ideal” shapes for the dress and my composition.   I also find that I adjust key values especially the darker tones.  I usually discover a bit more “air” in these areas that I simply can’t see in the photographs.  Time and time again I find that having the input of my sitters gives me great insight into my subjects and the elements included in the painting.  It also connects everyone to the adventure!

P.S. They left “Mountain” the dog at home with a sitter….probably a good idea!
3 Responses to The Value of Sittings from Life
  1. Rhonda Hartis Smith

    What a beautiful painting and I can see why they left “Mountain” home. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sonia Hale

    Wow Shane, it looks just beautiful. I love the woman’s gown. Looking forward to seeing the completed piece!

  3. laurel.alanna@gmail.com

    Hi there,

    I am wondering how (or if) you recreate the lighting from the original shoot in your studio – I assume the reference photographs you have been using to work on the portrait when the subjects are not present were taken elsewhere.

    Thanks for sharing your procedure!