Girasol • Experimenting With Color

Girasol is sunflower in Spanish. There is something about the juxtaposition of portraiture with nature that gives me a special kind of energy. I will likely continue this exploration for a long time - for me, it communicates the intimacy humans share with the inherently beautiful and powerful force of nature.

Placing flowers in hair is one way I intend to explore this juxtaposition. I knew how large I wanted the flowers to be and exactly where I wanted them placed. Originally, however, the color scheme was meant to be analogous. The background would simply have green foliage.

It would certainly work, but there was something too simple about it. It wasn’t inspiring. The peaceful, quiet analogous color scheme that worked for other pieces just did not seem to work for this one.

I tried a few colors until I landed on purple, yellow’s contrast, for the background. Suddenly, electricity colored her surroundings. Her aura became highly stimulating & charged with energy, and I was pleased.

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Portrait Commission of Naava

In December 2018, a father reached out to me for a commission. He wanted a painting of his 12-year-old daughter, who he told me was struggling with her self esteem.

“Something so she always remembers she’s a beautiful black girl.”

I asked him what season she was born in, and what her favorite color was. Upon finding out she was an Autumn baby who liked green, I got to work.

I decided to add a fall-color-inspired garnish to her hair, and I placed her in a lush environment with bright green foliage in the background. At first, I thought I might render the leaves in full realistic detail, but I found myself using more impressionistic brush strokes for the foliage. I think it made her surroundings look more whimsical and surreal, themes that are much more fitting to my vision.

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She’s an oil painting on 16x20 canvas - the largest piece I’ve ever done with this amount of detail and color. It took me about four months to complete. I used both Gamblin & Winsor and Newton oil colors.

This was a very special and touching piece to work on. I hope it brings father & daughter as much joy as it was to create.

Portrait of Zahira Kelly • Bad_Dominicana

When Zahira posted a photo on her Instagram with blue locs and pink rose accessories, I knew it would have to be my next painting, mainly because my favorite analogous color scheme is blue-purple-pink. It was a match made in heaven, quite literally.

I decided to incorporate purple by adding tropical leaves to the foreground. I also added roses to the bottom of the frame as a continuation of the roses in her hair. The background took on a loose, dreamy feel, with floating lights to add a magical touch. Finally, I wanted to highlight her earrings and septum jewelry, so I used reflective gold paint.

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I used Gamblin oil paints on canvas panel. The gold paint I used for the jewelry is by Winsor and Newton. I put this painting in a gold frame and sent it to her.

See & support her work on instagram.com/Bad_Dominicana

Serenity’s Gaze • Exploring Calmness

One night, I appeared in a hazy, post-rain environment. Sunlight struggled to penetrate the thick mist. The scent of flowers filled the air, attracting pollinators to its sweet center. I forgot myself, and before I knew it, the place melted away. It was a dream, I realized after I woke. But I had felt the mist on my skin, seen the diffusion of the sun’s light, and taken in the aroma of my surroundings. This place would only exist in my memory, unless I recreated precisely what I had dreamed.

Using analogous colors helped me reproduce the absolute tranquility I had experienced. For the background, I wanted my brushstrokes to mimic the post-rain haze and the suggestion of bright light behind it.

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