A Brief Explanation for 'Bevis'
Updated: Dec 2, 2018
‘Bevis’ Oil on canvas 48" by 36" October 2018
The subject of the painting is Charlie Bevis, a close friend of mine. The primary image I worked from was taken just before he went travelling to South America this summer. The closeup perspective we see Charlie in when looking at ‘Bevis’ is similar to the way I saw him whilst he was travelling: on a phone screen. It’s interesting how we can talk to someone on Snapchat or FaceTime and feel so close in proximity to them, despite being so far away from each other geographically. This concept is reflected in the cold colours I chose for my palette - white, blue and magenta. The cool temperature of the portrait makes Charlie sink back into the canvas, therefore creating a distance between him and the viewer.
In ‘Bevis’, I chose not to paint some areas of the face in order to direct the viewer’s attention to more important parts of the piece. The focal point is the subject’s eyes, so they are what I rendered with the most detail. The rest of the face transitions away from intricate detail to expressive brushstrokes - a technique that I first explored in ‘Remote III’. This time, I used larger brushstrokes and made bolder gestures. To prevent them from overpowering the piece, I had to think carefully about how the movement of these marks describes the contours of the subject’s face, and how the colour of each fits in with its surroundings.