Tributes are ways to honor individuals that had an enormous impact on our lives. It can be done in many ways but I chose to do it primarily through my artworks.
The idea came to me just after I finished working on a tribute portrait painting for the late reformed theologian, Dr. RC Sproul. He was very influential on the resurgence of reformed theology for the last few decades. His books like The Holiness of God and Chosen by God thought me how to view God for who he really is and who am I in his sight, a sinner. And so I decided to paint a portrait of him.
As I’m wondering what to do after I finished this painting, it just dawned on me; “this can be a great way to start a portrait painting series.” but immediately I realized that portraitures based on photo references can be a bit limiting to what I have in mind. I want to have some of my ideas to influence my portraits rather than make a mere copy of the subject. I want to incorporate different styles, genre, and different executions in one painting. To achieve that, I’ve decided to make some sort of master copies by merging the works and styles of the old masters with the styles of modern or contemporary artists. Works like that of Johannes Vermeer, John Singer Sargent, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Caravaggio, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Jackson Pollock.
Staring off the series, here’s “My Wife with a Pearl Earring”. This tribute is a portrait of my wife Malou based on Vermeer’s famous painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. Vermeer is known for his ability to create a sense of space by manipulating lights and shadows. In this painting I want to capture that by paying careful attention to shadow colors and reflected lights. In Vermeer’s mind not all shadows are the same in strength, in softness and in color and so with lights. Contrast is also very remarkable in his painting style. He contrast both values(darkness and lighness) and chroma(temperature or color) to create that sense of depth and drama.
Here’s another one “Pinup Girl with a Mandolin”. A tribute I did for Picasso based on his painting “The Girl with a Mandolin”.
That’s it for now. I’ll be adding more to this list so let’s keep in touch.