Robert is the most elegant of life models. As a professional dancer, he is extraordinarily lithe and flexible and holds a pose with impeccable grace.
This is the quality I aimed to capture in this painting of Robert, done in the company of three other painter friends over the course of four painting sessions.
It was one of those paintings that fell into place quite naturally, the fineness of Robert’s bone structure and his supple and upright pose reflected in the elegance of the house plants that he is nestled behind.
Painting fabric folds and patterns is not the specialist subject it used to be now that everyone wears jeans, but working out how to paint Robert’s kaftan reminded me of the airy Philip Pearlstein portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer I saw a couple of years ago in New York.
In the painting Linda Nochlin is wearing a blue and white geometric patterned dress and Philip Pearlstein has painted the folds of the material and the fall of light so precisely, yet with such lightness of touch: paint and fabric at the same time, hard to do and wonderful to look at.
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