|"Jazz Legends | Lionel Hampton" 16x20" Acrylic on Canvas. Giclée prints available.|
I've been painting, off and on, for a long time. I love painting people, but I have always avoided painting teeth. I think every artist has something they avoid... I know a few who avoid hands like the plague. While I have no problem with hands (one day I'll do a tutorial to show my technique), I have always managed to make the teeth look like they somehow don't belong in the mouth they've been assigned to. When I started the Jazz Legends portrait project my first thought was how on earth was I going to be able to do it making sure everyone had their mouths closed. I managed with the first few... then I got to Count Basie. I can't paint him not smiling... it wouldn't show his personality. Ok, so I gave him a slight smile. It worked out ok. Next came Cab Calloway. OMG, there's no way I can paint him with a closed mouth... his teeth take up most of his face and he's smiling in every picture. I have to just bite the bullet and go for it. Took a bit of fussing, but in the end, they looked ok. Charlie Christian? No detail in the photo, so no detail in the painting. Problem solved. Billie too... on that angle, didn't seem like much of an issue.
|A young Lionel. Even in a suit he looks like he's|
Silly that it took me so long to figure that out. Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is not avoid it... but just tackle it head on. Just treat it like everything else.