View Full Version : Brian McDonald

05-11-2009, 02:00 PM

Title: Brian McDonald
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 24 inches x 24 inches
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Portrait of an artist friend I've known since we were fellow students at the Ontario College of Art and Design back in the late 1960s.<br><br>Worked from a pic I took of him at another artist friend's art opening. Loved the mature vulnerability of his expression. That's what I aimed to capture.


05-11-2009, 02:40 PM
Wonderful, excellent, no crits from me, just applause... Admirable technique, amazing expression: top notch work.

05-11-2009, 03:47 PM
I agree with hans.

05-11-2009, 03:52 PM
Masterful, Allan!
I love the handling of the skin and hair and the expression is perfect.

I have no real crits, except maybe to question the temperature of the shadow line directly beneath his chin. I'd sort of like to see just that slightly less hot. But as it stands, it is terrific. The handling of the textures is remarkable.

05-11-2009, 04:21 PM
WOW. This is phenomenal, Allan. This face looks like it has a lot of stories to tell.

05-11-2009, 04:47 PM
This is crazy good! I love it.

05-11-2009, 04:58 PM
Wonderful. I'm getting a feeling of a Middle-ages monk... the bit of rosey halo over his tonsure helps that along. Yes! mature vulnerability

05-11-2009, 05:12 PM
Awesome painting!!

05-11-2009, 11:07 PM
I got nothin'. This is wonderful, and so full of personality. I love it!

05-12-2009, 01:34 AM
This is a wonderful picture you have painted. The skin tones are fabulous.

05-12-2009, 02:38 AM
Wow, very nice. I don't know why, but I feel like I know him.You've really captured his personality in this painting and he's very likable, a little vulnerable (sensitive), but also a little sad (or disillusioned?). Your expressive execution of this portrait is very well done.

05-12-2009, 05:26 AM
What a wonderful expression to have caught - and to have caught it so well! Bravo!

05-12-2009, 09:25 AM
An expressive portrait, indeed.
I'll join the chorus of praise, Allan, but I'll pose a couple of questions:
The modelling of his nose is first rate, but in comparison his chin is 2D. Is that because you used flash when taking the ref foto?
I'm wondering whether a cool background would have done more for his eyes?

05-12-2009, 11:53 AM
Ever see a big dog playing with a bunch of small dogs? The big dog runs around, plays nicely, rolls over, yips happily. But say he gets irritated. A huge bark and fearsome scowl sends the little dogs scurrying. And it's the same with this painting. Allan fools around with little experiments here and there but every so often, sends us little dogs scurrying.

I timidly offer a couple of ideas for improvement to bring this, at least in my eyes, from A+++ to A++++.

Softer edges at the top of the head, eliminating the dark line there.

Softer edges between coat and bg

The green of the coat has a kind of dark intensity to it. More neutrality could suit better the mood of the painting.

05-12-2009, 02:48 PM
Allan! A very insightful portrait. We grow older and sadder, we lose our hair, but we retain our sense of dignity and person. Nice epiphany.

05-12-2009, 04:16 PM
What if I never had a sense of dignity?

05-12-2009, 04:49 PM
Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the very enthusiastic and positive responses. And the critique points as well. The reference WAS from a "flash" shot and I attempted to mitigate that as much as possible. But I still like the edge that front lighting provides. I will look seriously at softening some of the areas as suggested.

Bob: Your dignity may still come...:O)) (and thanks for the quite humbling cheerleading...:O)< bowing....)

05-12-2009, 05:17 PM
Amazing work Allan!

05-12-2009, 09:05 PM
I wish

05-13-2009, 11:07 AM
Anne: Thanks so much!

Sivenus: Was your response truncated or cryptic? Just curious...:O)

05-15-2009, 12:49 AM
Both I guess. The look is so wishful and I wish I could paint that good

05-15-2009, 01:31 AM
Super work Allan, for some reason he reminds me of Sonny Bono, of Sonny and Cher fame. And like Silvenus, sure wish I could paint like this..........Lenore

05-15-2009, 10:40 AM
Wow soo amazing! What a face.. what a painting!! He feels like a very sad but eccentric type of guy! Love the textures and color choices. I like the intensity in the jacket's color as opposed to his more beige background, makes him seem even more of the creative type in a "beige" world LOL AMAZING!:thumbsup:

05-15-2009, 11:11 AM
silvenus: Thanks for the clarification!

Lenore: I have to admit I was a Sonny and Cher fan back in the day... Thanks for stopping by...:O))

ErinEmily: He definitely IS eccentric, and projects a kind of existential sadness -- which attracted me to the idea of painting him. And I actually chose to paint his jacket green (he was wearing a grey tweed) to create a better complementary colour dynamic with all the red/pink/burnt sienna. Thanks for commenting and enjoying the piece!

05-17-2009, 09:38 AM
Wow, absolutely fantastic. Love everything about it. I have just looked at your website and I now know I'm never going to give up the day job!