A Portrait of a Mother and Sons

Mother and Sons (2015) by Ryan Williams
Mother and Sons (2015) by Ryan Williams

So the first painting of the year is done. A commissioned piece of a mother and her two sons. As the I mention in the video, this was difficult as I only had a single photograph to work with. Seeing as how this was a commission and would be a gift for someone, I really had to focus on capturing the joy that is a family bond. How do you achieve this feeling in a painting? What is it about a smile that tells a story? Faces are just like books: they all tell a story.

In this video I discuss the challenges that came with working on this triple portrait. I made some mistakes, learned from them, and now take that new knowledge with me as I start yet another portrait. This one is a bit simpler in that there will be just two faces. One human and one, well, not. What is this animal? Stayed tuned.

Paintings to Expect in 2015

Happy New Year from Sloth!
Happy New Year from Sloth!

Another year comes to a close and we can all look back, once again, on our hits and our misses.

As for my own hits?

In 2014 I had planned to make this the year of the portrait and that’s exactly what I did. Starting with a portrait of my wife in her teaching environment, moving on to a dual portrait of my maternal grandparents, and now closing with a commission of a triple portrait of a mother and hers sons. Yes, I’ve become very familiar with the face and yet each one provides it’s own challenges. Every face tells a story and every face teaches me more about not just the physiology of humans, but of their emotional profile.

Mixed in between these portraits was an enormous commission of beautiful AT&T park in San Francisco. This marks the third painting with the San Francisco Giants as the topic. The Giants will always be around my easel. I love baseball as much as I love art.

OK, so how about the misses?

One other portrait that I had planned was a new self portrait. I wanted it to complement my wife’s in showing me at my place of work. However, some events transpired this year that convinced me to hold off until next year on that. Another miss would have to be the fact that the old Disneyland painting, that was started back in 2005, still sits unfinished. With the commissions that came in, I really had no choice but to come up with another valid excuse for not finishing it…again.

So now we turn forward to look at what ideas are coming down the pipeline this year in 2015.

More portraits?

– Yeah a couple.

I have a dual portrait of a pet owner and her pet lined up. I expect to tackle this one first as its a gift. Later in the year, I would like to fulfill my original plan to tackle my second self-portrait to compliment my wife’s portrait. As of now, these are the only portraits I have in mind, but perhaps a new commission will come my way to change that.

Disney painting? Yep. How about a painting based on a classic movie and Fantasyland ride? Well its going to happen. Staying on that Disney vein, I really want to complete that Disneyland painting I started all those years ago so I really plan to bear-down and force those creative thoughts to see me to the end of this frustrating work.
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Movie Painting?

– Yes!

How about the 80’s?

– Yes please!

This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the classic comedy adventure “Goonies.” So I just have to mark this milestone with a painting to pay tribute to one of my all-time favorite movies. I can’t wait to see what I come up with. The research will be easy: just watch Goonies a few more times. I have the dialogue memorized line for line, but if I could just do that visually and have the film memorized frame by frame; then I would be the ultimate…uh….fan I guess. Perhaps I have too much time on my hands.

Alright. There you go. I have listed my plans for 2015. Now why do I do this? Sure, to let you all in on what I plan on doing this year artistically. However, the real idea is that if I tell a lot of people what I want to do, then I have more obligation to actually do it. This is a simple strategy for seeing your goals through: set up a verbal contract with other people that you will do this task and then do it. If you fail to do so, notice how your friends will ask you about why you didn’t do what you said you would. After awhile you get tired of people thinking your a thinker and not a doer. So there you go….I am off and ready to get this stuff done.

My targeted number of works in 2015? I will stay with 6. Many things in my life tend to come out of the blue and suck the free time away. However this would be adequate if I could actually reach that number. I have never been a quick painter.

Thank you to all my customers in 2014! Here is to painting something amazing in 2015! Happy New Year!