Creating a facsimile of a subject is the first and simplest level of portraiture. My goal is to understand the person by life story, personality and environs, as well as how the person moves, her gestures or how he presents himself. I try to embue the portrait with many layers just as the person is composed of so many layers. All of this demands a variety of approaches. Sometimes, I simply have a subject sit and talk with me. I look at pictures and movies from the person’s entire life to identify consistencies. Occasionally people want me to understand significant stories–life chapters. Other times, the subject is masked behind a persona or even a disability. My job is to uncover and portray that person’s true beauty. In every case, I start with studies.
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