View Full Version : The Violinist

05-02-2009, 04:42 PM

Title: The Violinist
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Linen
Dimension: 16 x 20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I was present at a rehearsal of the orchestra that my friend was playing in and was permitted to take photographs which I did. I used one of the photos to create his painting. I tried to show the hands in motion and the concentration of the violiinist.

I struggled with the background and finally decided to squint real hard and to the paint the blotches of color that represented the other players and their music stands. After I completed the background, I decided that it was too bold and detracted from the subject so I glazed over it with the complements and a thin layer of zinc white. Would like some imput on the results. I've looked at it too long to see the errors of my ways!

05-02-2009, 04:52 PM
Hi Phil: The head, violin and background look great.

You said you were trying to show the hands in motion. I think that detracts from the overall quality of the painting. The hand doing the fingering doesn't look natural at all and the fingers appear to be distorted. The bow hand appears to be holding the bow like a hammer in the palm of his hand rather than delicately in his fingers.

Perhaps if you looked again at the reference photos you might consider redoing the hands.

05-02-2009, 08:07 PM
At first I thought the background was some kind of plank style wallboard..and I have to agree that the arms,hands and bow look awkward.The rest of your painting I find very convincing..

05-03-2009, 01:12 AM
I think that playing up the tonal values and adding some warmth to this is all you need, especially in the background. I've played with it a little bit below to show you what I mean.


05-03-2009, 01:45 AM
Hi Phil. What memories this brings back. My Dad played violin all the years I can remember. I think you did a great job on the man and violin, but I think his arm that is fingering the strings should be bent out more from his body. We can't really see how he is holding the bow, but I remember my Dad having a delicate touch on the end of the bow. I really like this painting........Lenore

05-03-2009, 02:22 PM
I thought that it might help to show the source of this painting so here it is:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-May-2009/114934-TheViolinistSourceSm.jpg

05-04-2009, 01:15 AM
ya know Phil....the photo is as hard to read as the painting......
so even if you do it exactly as the photo...it will still not read right.....?
the hands in motion are just so hard to convey on a canvas........
or in a photo either evidently...hahaha.....
they may just look like less than pleasing hands in an otherwise more than pleasing painting..yd

05-04-2009, 04:03 AM
Hi Phil...... excellent work on the face and violin and as yd says hands in motion are hard to convey. This brings back memories to me also as my dad used to play the violin too (well we called it a fiddle) ....I love it and I am sure your friend will too .....

05-05-2009, 06:50 PM
Since this portrait is a gift to a friend, I'm going to give him the last word on whether to make the hands static or leave them in motion as I have portrayed them. I he wants the change, he'll have to pose for me so I can see exactly how they should appear. Thanks for the comments.