Portrait Paintings

My adventure into portraiture…

Christmas Day, 2013 I had an unpleasant surprise when my eardrum burst. It was a painful experience which left me feeling unwell for several weeks. As much as I wanted to paint, I simply couldn’t muster the energy…until a facebook group I belong to issued a ‘self-portrait challenge’. I somehow thought this would be a great way to express my feelings of pain and ‘fed-upness’…I felt rough, so I would paint me feeling rough. This was the first of what would become a series of portraits.  To keep things simple, I decided to use a single colour (purple) plus black and white.

My 'painful' self-portrait, the beginning of my adventure into portraiture.

My ‘painful’ self-portrait, the beginning of my adventure into portraiture.

My self portrait was selected in the top 10 of over 70 entries…I moved forward to the ‘final’ round where the next challenge was to paint a portrait of Jenny Agutter from a photo supplied by the group. This was my attempt…again I tried to keep it simple, but pushed myself by using 2 complimentary colours (purple and yellow) plus black and white.

Portrait of Jenny Agutter, painted for a Facebook group (United By Art) Challenge .

Portrait of Jenny Agutter, painted for a Facebook group (United By Art) Challenge .

My hubby loved my painting of Jenny so much, he asked me to paint a portrait of him…this time I chose Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue plus black and white.

Painting of Nic by Mandi Baykaa-Murray

Nic

My next portrait challenge came when I was asked to paint our brother-in-law, Stu for his 50th birthday. Same colours as for Nic.

Portrait of Stu, painted for his 50th Birthday by Mandi Baykaa-Murray.

Portrait of Stu, painted for his 50th Birthday by Mandi Baykaa-Murray.

My next portrait was an easy choice – my daughter, Xixi. This time I wanted more drama and colour in the background so in addition to my usual combination of blue and brown, I used viridian green.

Portrait of Xixi by Mandi Baykaa-Murray.

Portrait of Xixi by Mandi Baykaa-Murray.

In June, I went to watch my brother racing his motorbike. At one point during the day, in a break between races, I noticed the light hitting the side of his face… camera in hand, I took the shot! Here’s the resulting painting. Again, same colours.

Painting of Mark, by Mandi Baykaa-Murray

Painting of Mark, by Mandi Baykaa-Murray

As much as I love painting birds and animals, I now have to admit to really enjoying people! I never thought I’d hear myself saying that!!  This will be an on-going project… 🙂

This portrait is of my friend, Vic Bearcroft. Over the past couple of years, I have attended several of his workshops which has improved my artwork no end. Vic’s art is inspiring, and he is a great teacher – his advice and moral support have been invaluable to me. This painting was made as a token of my gratitude, partly for allowing me to paint him and mostly for answering all my questions! Thank you. 🙂

Vic Bearcroft by MAndi Baykaa-Murray. Acrylic, 12" x 15"

Vic Bearcroft by Mandi Baykaa-Murray. Acrylic, 12″ x 15″

Here’s a photo of Vic with his portrait which he was happy to share on his Facebook page.

Vic Bearcroft holding his portrait by Mandi Baykaa-Murray

Vic Bearcroft holding his portrait by Mandi Baykaa-Murray

Here’s what he said, “I’m always a little nervous on the occassion that someone asks if they can paint my portrait, as I’m not particularly photogenic, especially at the end of a day outside sketching big cats at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation. But my friend Mandi Baykaa-Murray was very persistent, and, armed with a few dodgy photos went ahead and painted this. I think she did a great job in capturing my personality as well as the likeness (and scruffy hair – which has since been cut!), so I’m happy to share the result here.  Thanks Mandi!”

My latest portraits are both of my old school friend, Simon. (See my blog post for the story behind these http://www.mandibaykaa-murray.co.uk/blog/ )

Once again, I have used a very limited palette, but it is working very well for me and I am really enjoying this combination. The ‘Happy Pirate’ was my last painting of 2014 and ‘Contemplating Grumpiness’ is my 1st portrait of 2015.

Happy Pirate, Acrylic, 15" x 11" Mandi Baykaa-Murray

Happy Pirate, Acrylic,
15″ x 11″
Mandi Baykaa-Murray

Contemplating Grumpiness, Acrylic, 16" x 14" Mandi Baykaa-Murray

Contemplating Grumpiness, Acrylic, 16″ x 14″ Mandi Baykaa-Murray

2 thoughts on “Portrait Paintings

    • Hi Robert, thank you for checking out my new portrait page! I’ve not heard of the Zorn palette – I’ll look it up now! I only chose to use such a limited palette in order to simplify colour issues as I had no idea how to create convincing skin tones (I was trying to avoid the issue!) and to focus on tonal qualities. As it happens, the colours I use do work, so for now i’ll probably stick with them – until the next experiment!! Mandi 🙂

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