Saturday, July 25, 2009

Frank McCourt Portrait

This is a portrait I painted this past Thursday for The Weekly Standard. I started painting around 9:00 a.m. and painted until midnight that night . . . got up at the crack Friday morning and finished the painting around 10:00 a.m.

Frank McCourt, the Irish American author, was best known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela’s Ashes that chronicled his impoverished upbringing. Frank passed away last Sunday. He was 78.

I was told that because of Frank's passing, they would like me to paint a respectable portrait rather than a caricature. These are two of my more refined sketches that I shared with them, I did a couple others that didn't quite feel right to me.

Phases one and two of the painting . . . My influence artistically for this piece was my favorite illustrator, Norman Rockwell. I was also inspired by the palette of Rembrandt and Zorn Anders, or at least the look that they achieved. I was also taken by Michael J. Deas's recent painting of FDR, that he painted for TIME.

Phases four and five.

Detail of final painting. I spent a long time working on the eyes and mouth, I painted the eyes a couple times, for a while they just didn't feel right. I took a break, rested my eyes, came back and saw what was bugging me . . . fixed it and whalla! For me, once the eyes are right, I can be loose and much more expressive, and have more fun!


Blogger Dominic Philibert said...

Beautifull piece Jason!
These eyes looks very expressive. You captured his soul!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Nelson said...

Very good!!
It's very nice of you to share some of the process.
thanks for that!

9:38 AM  
Blogger Brett McCoy said...

Wow, I seriously thought that was a photograph when I first saw it in my blog reader. Nice work!

11:41 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

It's true, the yes are right. They drew me in straight away. Captivating portraite.

12:10 PM  
Blogger J. Anthony Kosar said...

Wow man! Great job!

12:57 PM  
Blogger Thomas Fluharty said...

LOVE IT BRO. This is hugely mature of you, Masterful~T

3:27 PM  
Blogger Draw Monkey said...

Amazing work.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Damion009 said...

OH MY FUCKING GOD! This is outstanding!!!! sooooooo well done!

5:38 PM  
Blogger Antonio Radovcic said...

so awesome. did you try to exaggerate a tiny tiny bit or did you go for realism?

ps: got my dvd today!!!

6:52 PM  
Blogger Tel said...

That is stunning Jason and a perfect piece for a tribute article - a knowing look and a half smile.
Thanks for sharing the process.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Daniel Bejarano Casarino said...

Great piece Jason! you are such a master the portrait and the expression is amazing, beautifully executed congratulations!

9:56 PM  
Blogger Patrick Strogulski said...

Absolutely brilliant, very expressive eyes !!!

3:23 AM  
Blogger Charles DA COSTA said...

Beautiful piece Jason!!!
I like the process.
Congratulations !!!

5:01 AM  
Blogger Barry O'Donoghue said...

beautiful painting- you really captured him!

6:59 AM  
Blogger Will Appledorn said...

Really impressive work, a great portrait.

could have sworn that was a traditional panting seeing the final.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Su Haitao said...

I first see this portrait at CGTalk! awesome work! so great portrait painting! I be convinced with you!

BTW, Maybe you can help me, test whether the reply in my blog, I have changed the template, I hope fixing my blog :)

9:55 AM  
Blogger Eric Zampieri said...

Seeing the caricatures someone could think you can do a good serious portrait but this is a masterpiece.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Aaron Wilkin said...

Really beautiful piece!!! You can see the care you put into his eyes, it really paid off!

1:10 PM  
Blogger belmhern said...

Fantastic, really amazing! Congratulations Jason!

2:14 PM  
Blogger Robin Goodfellow said...

... (speechless)

8:54 PM  
Blogger Sagan Lacy said...

You really are an extraordinary artist, Jason! This looks deceptively photographic but has great parts to explore. The teeth really seem harder than the flesh, and the jacket catches the light beautifully.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Big Sam said...

oh yes! The business!

1:10 AM  
Blogger Giovanni Pasini said...

great one Jason!

3:09 AM  
Anonymous theb said...

Great piece. Thanx for sharing process.

5:32 AM  
Blogger ARI said...

No words enough to describe it, amazing.

6:45 AM  
Blogger TUKAN said...

hi jason,it is great.. for the first time i got a chance to see your usual portrait painting,wip images are really helpfull.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Restrepo said...

Each work is the ratification of your mastery. Excellent Portrait!!

10:54 AM  
Blogger francisco said...

beautifull work! you inspired me.

Saludos from Chile.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous larry said...

Wow! that's a winner!

11:42 AM  
Blogger l e d o said...

Amazing, darn your talented!

12:30 PM  
Blogger W. K. Moore said...

Do this in oil Jason and you may find yourself in another line of work.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Niall O loughlin said...

Jaysus Jason, this is in a different league, AMAZING! I agree with the last comment, if this had of being oils or acrlyic you could have sold it here(Ireland) for allot of money!

3:40 AM  
Blogger 【#pan】 said...


6:39 AM  
Blogger Mark Heng said...

woah! I actually thought it was an oil painting until I checked out the previous stages...I'm truly amazed, man. You raise the bar yet again.

3:59 PM  

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