To be honest, I haven’t produced a painting that I really LOVE in a while.  The last was probably this, of my friend Alyssa:

full sheet (22x30), May 2010

There are things I don’t like about it, to be sure – the background, for example, even though there’s only a little corner of it.  The figure looks like a cutout against it; it looks almost like an afterthought.  I prefer when all of the sections of the painting melt into each other.

I think I like this one, though.  Too often, I get more excited about the figure than I should, and I ignore the rest of the work until the paint has dried and  it’s too late to achieve that unification.  Even though I couldn’t wait to paint Emily and Isaac (my sister and her pet conure), I forced myself to lay the background wash in first.  I could have done a better job, but I’m still okay with how it came out.  Here’s the full version:

(roughly) half sheet (11x15), November 2010

And here’s the original photo, taken Halloween of 2009.

The one thing I’m really not satisfied with in the painting is the shirt, but that’s because I’m afraid of drapery and I wasn’t careful enough with it.  It still reads as clothing, though, and that’s the important part.  I still prefer it cropped, though.  I’d probably crop it to something like this:

I think I captured her trademark Emily smirk pretty well, though, and that was the most important part.  And the light on the left side of her face – I love that.  It’s weird how often the best parts of a watercolor are the sections you leave unpainted.  I’m okay with it.

Side note: I’m thinking of selling some of my paintings.  Thoughts?


All images copyright Allison Wachtel 2010.


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