I started painting ‘Mick Jagger’ in late March, and finished at the beginning of May 2020 from my home studio in Clarendon Park.
The initial source material for ‘Mick Jagger’ was a black and white photograph, as well as magazines and online material. Working from a photograph, particularly a black and white one, left me to interpret and use colours from my imagination.
In this portrait, the subject is looking straight ahead, with his blue eyes and expressive pout practically leaping out of the canvas. The near central composition of his head seemingly gives Jagger the quality of an icon. His outward gaze displays strength and power and gives a sense of reverence; His expression is solemn and brooding, displaying his innate sexuality.
Painted in ravishing colours, this very contemporary portrait has a futuristic quality, emphasised in his all white face with it’s purple blue shadows. I sketched several versions with this ‘Alien’ look, through which I enjoyed exploring creative lighting. The flashes of orange and auburn in his hair create a beautiful contrast to the purple and blues I used. As the primary focus, his hair is painted with energy and exuberance, against a ravishing dazzle of colours.
Leaving the canvas white was a considered decision and gives the painting a very contemporary hip and cool feel. Using more of a watercolour technique than oil, it feels much lighter and loose with a freshness, as if it had been painted yesterday. Each brush mark of colour is considered and dabbed on lightly, producing a rhythmic pattern of tones.
My artistic intention was to capture Jagger in his prime at the beginning of his creative genius, as an individual from popular culture who I personally admire. For my portraits I am drawn towards young and beautiful subjects who project a certain luminosity, innocence and grace.
Mick Jagger Portrait
Oil on canvas