Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I found this great publicity still portrait of actor Bela Lugosi and really wanted to paint it. I like working from black and white photos so I can make up the colors as I go, and not be influenced by the colors in the photo. For this one I really wanted to pay homage to artist Frank Duveneck, whose brushwork is just sumptuous to say the least. Frank lived in Covington Kentucky around the turn of the century 1900's. He studied abroad, but he painted and taught close to Cincinnati. In fact, I believe the top floor of the Cincy Art Museum is his actual studio!! They have several of his paintings there, and I never tire of studying them. He can do so much with just a single brushstroke, just amazing to me. It's a shame he's not more well known.
Ironically, Bela Lugosi died yesterday in 1956. He was a proud man, which I think hampered him in life. He really was a very fine actor, but never got the chance to really show what he could do in America. There are still many fans of his, myself included.