portrait painting of mads peder nordbo

This video is about a portrait painting. The sitter is the crime novelist and author Mads Peder Nordbo, and the video clip shows the various stages that the the painting went through. In many ways, it was a fun collaboration because Mads offered ample artistic freedom and had some suggestions. For instance, the background in the painting was the actual building in Greenland, that doubled as a crime scene in his artic noir fiction “The girl without skin”.

Mads sat or rather stood on two occasions. At the very beginning, and in the end. In the period in between, I relied quite heavily on my own reference photography as detail sketches. Photographs are great. I would never knock them or pretend I do not use them because ‘real artists’ aren’t supposed to use them. But I would not use them alone for portraiture. The whole idea of portraits is to capture the character and essence of the person. Meetings with the sitter in real life, help you focus on the important aspects of the portrait, and photographs do neither quite capture the three dimensions of the person nor the exact flesh tones.

In this painting I’ve used a traditional Flemish approach to the portrait, with loose brown underpainting, a more defined grey-greenish dead layer, and then colour, shadows and highlights in full colour, followed by glazes.

You can view and zoom on the actual portrait here.

There is another portrait of Mads Peder Nordbo, and that began life as a loose colour sketch or study whilst painting the aforementioned portrait.

Portrait painting of Mads Peder Nordbo