17th c downloadThis was one of the first color portraits from this body of  work. This was a bit scary for me -working from this Frans Hals because it was quite intimidating. This was also one of the first larger scale works I attempted.  Most works up to this point were about 40″ square -this one approached 6 feet tall. I had room to work, but this also presented problems -there’s more space to paint. I think a huge learning curve was on this work. But as difficult as it was, it made me realize that I really enjoy learning from doing these. Naturally, my respect an admiration for Frans Hals was deepened as well. This was also one of those works that takes a while to come into focus. I think because there was less underpainting on this in the initial stages -I had to wait till everything developed over the course of the painting. The small bands of color and black and white that intersect the piece are taken from printing errors that occur when I print out versions to paint from.

The original is a famous image, The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals. A striking portrait that shows the flair and swagger of the 17th century Dutch. The identity of the young man is unknown, but inscriptions on the original indicate the subject would have been around the age of twenty-six when Hals painted him in 1624. Hals was a very prominent and sought after artist, but by the end of his life his possessions had been seized by creditors and he was living off an annual municipal pension.