This is an example of a work that simply kicked my ass. Though I’d done a number of portraits, for some reason I just couldn’t do justice to this one. Part of it was the poor reference photo: it had been very underexposed and as a result the colors were a royal pain. It also didn’t help that I don’t often paint men, with the result that the beard stubble made my life miserable for a session or two.
Truth be told, this is the second attempt. My first attempt was so awful that I washed the board clean of paint and scrapped it.
The process of working on this overlapped with the time that my dad’s health was declining and taking a lot of my energy. Some of my lack of focus might have come from that as it took a number of months after his passing for me to return to this piece.