I'm excited to announce that I will be judging the Artfields Portrait Contest this year on April 30th. I do wish I could compete again, but am eager to see what happens this year. While competing myself, I could not observe the other participants' process, which I am excited to watch this time around. Here's an update on how the 2015 competition progressed:
Twenty-four artists competed in the first round. I had forgotten to bring any form of turpentine when I arrived, and I washed my brushes with handsoap between rounds. This was my first painting, next to my model. I think she said she was nervous about modeling. I forget that it's not such a common activity outside of academia.
Twelve artists were eliminated after round one, and twelve continued. I think there were 3 artists to a model this time. This one was my favorite. I got a closer view of the model, and he seemed much more comfortable than the first one. The way he settled in his seat, the pace at which he breathed, and the gaze he held gave me a better idea of his personality and I think it was much better conveyed in the painting.
I didn't get a good photograph of my last painting, unfortunately. Only six artists went on to the third round, all painting from the same model. I was really worried during this one because I started with a black primed canvas and my paint wasn't opaque enough for a good 30 minutes. Somehow it came together in the last 10 minutes. The model told me afterwards that the painting had the expression that her husband calls her bitch face.
If you were present and know of any other photos of the competition, I'd love to see them! And I encourage all portrait artists to enter the 2016 competition here.