Working on Rahab’s face taught me quite a lot. It might have been easier If I’d worked directly from a photo to get the areas of light and shade right, but I relied too much on how I thought it looked on the canvas, struggling to change areas that didn’t look right without really understanding what needed to be done to fix them.
While the image of Rahab started with a photo, I distanced myself from that by attempting a pencil sketch from the photo and then by trying to transfer the details of the sketch to the painting. None of the stages of the image resembled its predecessor. The sketch looked nothing like the photo and the painting looked nothing like the sketch.
My initial satisfaction with the result of eroded over the weekend when Gloria and I had the opportunity to meet a successful fulltime artist and view his work. We unexpectedly came across the studio of Kim Nelson and were able to spend around half an hour with him viewing his work. He was very generous with his time, showing us his current project and telling us about the other paintings in his studio/gallery.
From the viewpoint of someone with little knowledge of art history, his work brought to my mind the Pre-Raphaelites, the romantic poets, and to a degree William Blake.