Saturday, December 19, 2009
Symbolism in portraiture
I like symbolism in portraiture. It makes a piece personal and gives the viewer a talking point as they try to interpret the symbols. I rarely explain the symbols to others for exactly those reasons and because they are personal to both the sitter and to me as the artist. Symbolism has been used in portraiture for hundreds of years. Some of the most famous portraits of Queen Elizabeth I contained many symbols to represent her view of herself and her power and virtues to the world.
So these are the initial layers for the background which outline the drawings that I have placed there. I don't want them to be focal points, but almost shadow images that the viewer has to examine closely and to decide if they are really there or just imagination.
This portrait is of my brother in law by the way, who I hope I don't perturb too much during this process.