Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Lyman

"Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Lyman"
14" x 10" (36 x 25 cm)
Watercolor and pencil on Arches 300-lb CP paper
© 2009 Steve Penberthy

I based this painting on a photo from the Library of Congress' Flickr site. The woman's expression was really appealing, so I thought it might be fun to paint. Mr. & Mrs. Lyman were Polish tobacco farmers near Windsor Locks, Connecticut; they were photographed by Jack Delano in September of 1940. The photo is part of a Library of Congress (LOC) photo collection of the U.S. Resettlement Administration, the Farm Security Administration (FSA), and later the Office of War Information (OWI). The most active years were 1935-1943, and the entire collection was transferred to the LOC in 1944.

The painting is much simplified as compared to the original photo. I restricted myself to a limited palette this time, which I think worked well; I like the color harmony that resulted. The palette includes raw sienna, burnt sienna, french ultramarine, carbazole violet, perm. alizarin crimson, and Payne's gray.

Here's my original pencil drawing:
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Lyman - Pencil Drawing

There's other stuff at Flickr.


angeltreats said...

Not surprised you found the photo appealing - what a lovely couple! The painting turned out great.

Gabrielle said...

I couldn't help laughing along with Mrs. Lyman. She seemed to be someone who enjoyed life. I like how the background and Mr. Lyman's trousers blend together and the effect you created on Mrs. Lyman's dress. Another great one, Steve!

Steve Penberthy said...

-angeltreats: There's some great stuff on the Library of Congress Flickr site; I got the idea to paint old photos from a chapter in Charles Reid's recent "Watercolor Solutions" book. In fact, I've seen that he is teaching workshops on this very subject. Glad you like the painting!

-Gabrielle: Thanks so much! I used salt to create a patterned effect on the woman's dress. Thought that would be easier than trying to paint a tight pattern. Glad to hear you liked the effect and the painting!

Krista Meister said...

You have a way of painting such captivating expressions on people's faces! The woman's laughing face makes me smile also.

Steve Penberthy said...

-Krista: Thanks! I actually considered just cropping in and only painting the woman because of her expression... Glad she made you smile! :^)