I’ve been wanting to do a portrait of George Washington for a while now. I saw a painting by Gilbert Stuart from 1795 that really caught my eye. I like the more angular, masculine quality of it, as opposed to the smoother look of most Washington portraits.
My first draft wasn’t at all what I had hoped – the tones were uneven, and Washington looked old, overweight, and grumpy. I had tried to get too much done too quickly. I kept working it until I made something I was happier with:
The texture is still very course. I have thought about starting over and using a finer scratch pattern to smooth out the skin. I spent about 10 total hours on the rendering – not nearly enough to get the fine detail. The virtue of patience yields a much better product.