I am pushing myself to try to overcome my fear of color with timid results so far. I had really wanted this to be a blue coat with a red vest, but just couldn't do it. At the last moment I opted for the much safer grey. Neverthless, the results are encouraging (click on the picture to see a larger image).
There's nothing quite like having a finished piece to look at; makes you feel pretty accomplished, even if you've chickened out on what you set yourself to do on some level. At the very least, painting these pieces has got me back into the "mode" of painting (and so I have overcome a little bit of that rustiness that sets in between projects).
You may notice (or not) that this is a new body for James. I just couldn't deal with the other one. It was too anemic-looking and too clothed! You'll see below that the new body is less dressed and a good deal more hairy (eeek!). But I guess I have always imagined James to be rather a manly-man in this regard and so I'm much happier with the result, though painting the hair was sort of weird (not bad for a first try, though).
I also painted a sort of poet's shirt with a French collar (not common in America, yet) and a glass of brandy. The brandy came out great (it's not well-reproduced here in the small scan), but the shirt is rather ill-fitting (I didn't measure properly. So I'll either fix it or make a new one.
Oh, and I love the shoes here. Most of my other characters either wear the same shoes (or type of shoes) or their shoes are covered by skirts, etc., so it's fun to give James some interesting and different shoes. These could be dress shoes, but just as likely might not.
The whole outfit hearkens later Victorian, though the coat style was popular from the 70s to the 90s. The cravat is older-style (as early as 40s), but it's the style James favors. Also, the hat is more 50s-60s, but it's the hat James wears pretty much ever-after the Civil War. But because of the coat and on account of the shoes, which are a more particular late-style, I'll call this ensemble late 80s.
The image below shows the arrangement of the painting on the actual page. I tend to squeeze things in where I can so to maximize the paper.
|19th Century Paper Dolls||