Commissioned portraits can be a real challenge. What does the painter see? What does the sitter think that the painter sees? What does he WANT the painter to see?
You want to do your very best for your client, and hope that he or she will be delighted with the result, and will agree with you that yes, that is how I see myself….and I like what I see! …. Or, wow, I have not seen myself in that light, but I DO like that someone else has!
In the case of this particular client, we weren’t too long into the initial interview, and I ‘saw’ what I needed to see. And that was, a lovely man who, although holding a position of power in his profession, nevertheless did not feel the need to flaunt the fact, but who rather exuded a grace and a gentleness of spirit.
After two ‘failed’ attempts, and a degree of frustration, the third canvas finally agreed with me, and we happily settled on this result.