Today I went back into the mother’s face to make her more universal. I want her to potentially be anyone’s mother, or at least to have echos of anyone’s mother. So… source images from more people.
I was already tweaking Krys’ face to make her more like a particular DaVinci sketch for a Maddona which I thought had a very perfect mother-smile; gentle and calm and patient. I was also making her eyes slightly more Asian. Still, I wanted to make sure that the Mother was even more universal. My friend Amada is not a mother, but she is a nurse and has that serene, gentle patient quality.
Last Thursday I was able to get some images of her holding another friend’s baby. There was such a huge difference in her face when she was holding the baby as opposed to posing cold! I don’t know any African-descended women who have young children right now (at least none who live nearby), so I had to resort to the internet for those images.
I found a couple that had the element I wanted, even similar lighting…. but once you get into detail even small differences in lighting are suddenly HUGE issues! I already altered the lighting on Krys by ooking at another shot with a worse expression but better lighting. Trying to blend the different faces with different lighting conditions was a challenge. Eventually I was fiddling too much and had to work on the background and another piece instead.
The smile I want is an incredibly delicate thing. I call it the Buddha smile in my mind. Sublime, barely there, but infinitely tender. Tricky.
Funny. I showed my husband the face and he nailed what it was missing in one- a tiny place that should be darker on the right-hand corner of the mouth. I changed it in Photoshop to see how it would look, and here it is…