Progress shot

Portrait of John James Audubon in progress.

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7 thoughts on “Progress shot

  1. The face looks a little young and feminine, and I am more accustomed to seeing him with a gun than a paintbrush.
    Here is one picture that is more on the young side, and here is one where he is older.
    The baby likes the sock monkey now. He likes chewing on the ears.

    • Yeah, the one with the gun is what I’m mostly using as my reference. I thought a younger portrait would be more appropriate since that’s when he began adventuring and illustrating birds.

      • I think he looks more like a bird in the pictures where he is older. His distinctive nose makes me think of it as a beak. The big white mutton chops are definitely some sort of plumage.
        The paintbrush is growing on me. He is tickling that bird with it.
        I like all the sharp details in his work. Did he do that strictly with paint, or were their pens involved in the process too?
        Evergreen House had some really old oversized books of Audubon’s birds in the John Work Garrett Library.

      • I believe he used a combination of watercolor, gouache, pastel, and pen & ink.
        The birds are supposed to be sort of rushing out of his paint brush.
        They’re based on birds in some of his various illustrations so they’re kind of awkward, because he painted dead birds that he tried to make look like they were still alive. It amuses me because he’s been praised for making paintings that are more naturalistic than others working before him, who just painted the dead birds laid out, rather than posing them. Once you realize the reason they look so stiff and contorted is because they were dead, the paintings are so grotesque.

    • Actually, I have no idea what handed he was… I was totally not thinking about the fact that the hand I added is his left, just that it made sense in the location I put it. Ah well.
      The birds are based on birds from his actual illustrations.

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