From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Universal Mother

with one comment

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…

I’m looking forward to getting the next layers on.

Written by Mary Corey March

February 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm

One Response

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  1. That’s looking really great. Love the differences in the face already (though I was very impressed with how much the original was clearly Krys).


    February 2, 2012 at 9:26 am

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