Tim Ellmers, Artist
Minnesota Girl - A Portrait
Recently, I was commissioned to paint the mom of one of my past work colleagues. It was explained to me that people from Minnesota really take fishing seriously. When I looked at the original photo taken I just took a deep breath..."those fish will be the death of me". I accepted the commission and moved forward (you never know until you at least try).
The expression on this woman's face is so infectious you can't but not smile back. She is so proud of her daily catch that it really shows. Capturing her expression was such a joy as it unfolded in the end results.
Canvas prep: 48 hours earlier I had taken a cotton gessoed canvas (done entirely in acrylic gesso) and I covered the surface in a mixture of Titanium white + Liquin. This allows that layer to dry in 24 hours, completely hard in 48 hours. I then primed the canvas with burnt sienna to take all the white away. In doing this, I can now allow a chemical bond to occur which makes for a stronger painting. An added benefit of prepping a canvas in this way also means it makes it smoother and takes away the manufactured look of the canvas somewhat.
As with my portraits, I have to start out with a drawing. This helps me figure out where everything needs to go so I am not having to waste paint. Some artists just go right in with paint, and I have done this. It is a different technique and the end results are more impressionistic. I may stop drawing at some point and just go in with paint.
Total time 9.5 hours painting time.
Crossing my fingers that the commissioned family enjoys this painting as much as I do. I have already received numerous comments on this painting from lots of people!
Cheers to you and yours during this holiday season! On to the next painting.