Portrait paintings and drawings of the human figure

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Walter K. Davis (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Ben Berns

Abstract: My thesis consists of several portraits painted in acrylics. These paintings are on duck canvas in sizes ranging from 18" x 20" to 35" x 54". I have paid close attention to the modeling and coloration of the facial features of each subject. In several of the paintings I have used a blue in the background which to me suggests a source of electrifying energy, giving the subject an intense vitality. It is hoped that this electrifying blue together with the careful rendering of facial features, encourages one to search beyond the surface image to discover the expressive qualities of each portrait. My approach is psychological and intended to express a universal concept such as, my painting. "LOVE, LOVE....", which 1 think, love should be universal. All of the people that 1 have painted, with the exception of a self-portrait and a painting of my sister, Carolyn, are close friends. I have spent much time with each person and have formulated my conception of their personality. Their expressions and attire are natural and I have attempted to capture those expressions on canvas. The portraits are careful studies done from photographs and the model. I used a 35 millimeter camera under natural light, set on low shutter speeds. The use of photographs was necessary to me because each portrait requires extensive time. The technique used to achieve the gradation of tonal quality is painstaking, requiring many thin layers of paint. In many cases, more time is needed than the model can provide. The photograph is used for reference when the model is unavailable, however, I do not feel that my work is photo realism.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1978

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