Monday, February 18, 2013

Now What - Bridal Portrait series


Now What
9 x 12
Oil on Raymar Panel

This is a study for a larger piece.  I decided to do a series of wedding paintings for an upcoming show.  In preparation I am doing some small studies before I tackle the larger canvases.  This source photo was taken at my niece's wedding.  I took a little poetic license with the piece but am pretty happy with the overall result.  I am sure I will adjust a bit when I do the larger piece.  

I titled it "Now What" because so often there is a let-down after all the planning and celebrating is done.  Then we get on with our lives.  

Scroll down to see the process and experimentation for this piece.  

First I blocked everything in deciding to place the groom's head behind the bride's arm for anonymity of the piece.  I originally wanted the dress to be a warm light ochre color.  I used a pthalo blue to darken the folds.  I put a red flower in the vase at her elbow which I later found distracting and not really helping the story line. 

After the block in I darkened the back walls for a dramatic effect and "dirtied" the dress to make it look rumpled and worn because it is the end of the reception.  Her curls are coming undone...the groom is more relaxed looking.  I put a bottle of champagne and an empty glass where the red flower was.  

I am not happy with the result here.  Maybe too dark?  Maybe just not working in mind.  It is not what I wanted when I began the piece. 

Here I lightened things up and I am happier...but not thrilled...soooooo...

back to the top for the one I like best.  

Stay tuned for the final larger a month or so. 


  1. This is going to be a fun series. Can't wait to see them ... each and every one.

  2. This is so GREAT Maria! Love the shadow colors in the dress. Her hair is beautiful! What a wonderful idea. I hope you will be posting as you go.

    btw... when do you have time to paint this month??

  3. I love this! it's going to be a fun series, I'll be waiting for the rest! (No pressure) lol! It paid off adjusting and the end you have got a great looking study!!! Love the colors!

  4. I have to hand it to you, Maria, you get the BEST ideas! I predict super-success, in that what bride WOULDN'T want a painting - not a formal posed photo - of her wedding????? Beautiful, and I love that you shared your process.

  5. This painting tells a story and is very interesting to wonder what she is saying to him. I loved seeing your progress and thoughts with each phase.

  6. Wonderful progression...I can't wait to see more...!!


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