Painting portraits without a model [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Painting portraits without a model

06-06-2016, 01:54 PM
Very difficult challenge when all we have is the work of others and no photographs exist. There is no really good guide to Jane Austen for example as a rather amateur attempt by her sister is all the record we have. I tried a couple of attempts at Charlotte Bronte based on drawings but there is no real way of judging how good/bad they turned out. Here they are for comment.:

06-07-2016, 05:00 AM
I'd say they look really nice!

Personally, when I want to draw or paint a character that I don't have a clear image of, I look around for some reference material. Not to copy, but to kind of give myself a mental image-library before I get to work, so to speak.

06-07-2016, 06:27 AM
Quite so, SuddenLife, and thanks for replying. The main problem being (in this particular case) that there is so little clue at source, and what there is isn't really flattering. I'm an avid fan of the literary skills of both Jane Austen and the Bronte's, but what I painted probably bears little resemblance to the Charlotte Bronte character as she was. What clues there are tend to the plain, but it's easier to glamourise than be accurate when so little is known. (Believe me, I've researched all the drawings, paintings and possible photographs available). They are just for my own use anyway and I enjoyed doing them.

06-07-2016, 10:24 AM
After the conversation with SuddenLife I decided to take courage in hand and paint an original Jane Austen at work. I left it simple but am quite pleased with the result.

Susan Mulno
06-07-2016, 08:45 PM
I think they are wonderful!

The handy part to not having references is no one else does either, so who's going to tell you they're wrong? :biggrin: