For the first

For the first time in the history of my portrait making career, someone was displeased with the results. I shouldn't say displeased. I should say lame, lame, lame, lame, lame.

I hate it when bankers try to be artists. Okay, I hate it when anyone tries to be an artist who isn't one. It's not that I don't have thick skin about criticism... I do. It's just that I think the people criticisizing need to know something about what they critique.

So I go into this bank to hand over a portrait I did, and he immediately starts talking about how the glisten in the eyes is different than it is in the photo. "Yeah, it is," I say, "because I took a few artistic liberties with it. The photo was taken in an office building with harsh overhead lighting, so I lightened up some shadows and put in some details that would have been there in better lighting conditions."

He held the photo right next to the portrait and pointed out every little thing that was different, including a few variences in the shirt pattern and wrinkles. Finally I said "It's a portrait, not a photograph. It's an artistic representation, not an exact duplication. If you want a photograph on your wall, then you should get a photograph."

I, of course, offered to make a few small changes, which he will be charged for. For anyone reading this, please pay attention. Paying an artist to do a portrait gives that artist some license to change, modify, exaggerate, accent, tone down, etc. The most important part of a portrait is looking at it and seeing the person you want to see, NOT that every hair is in the same place and every line on the face is exactly right. I think I did my job well, and I think he has no idea what the point of a portrait is. So, that's my frustration for the day. I hope you've enjoyed it.

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