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-   -   Piece for Submission to the Royal Scottish Academy Annual Open Exhibition (http://portraitartistforum.com/showthread.php?t=9659)

Lewis MacKenzie 10-28-2012 04:54 PM

Piece for Submission to the Royal Scottish Academy Annual Open Exhibition
1 Attachment(s)
Hello all.

I'm planning to submit this small portrait of my mother for consideration for the RSA's annual open exhibition in Edinburgh. The sitter is my mum. She came all the way down from Inverness for the weekend just to sit for a portrait, as I was struggling to work from a combination of a small colour study and a black and white photograph of her, neither of which were very much good. We started yesterday morning and finished at about lunchtime today, and off she went up the road again at twenty to six. All critiques are greatly appreciated, although I'm not likely to do any more work on it without my sitter present. I was also hoping someone might be able to give me a little advice as to pricing (The RSA stipulates that all submissions must be made available for sale). I just don't know what price to put, given that I am basically a complete nobody: I have never sold a piece of work or exhibited anything publicly (at least, not since high school). What do you think is a reasonable price to ask? I promise not to be offended. Also, since I sort of don't want to sell this, what are peoples' thoughts on the idea of putting an unreasonable price on a piece of work to deter buyers? I know that sounds daft, but if I could enter it without putting it for sale, I would.

Anyway the painting is (imaginatively) titled "Portrait of Winifred MacKenzie" and is painted in oil in canvas (12' x 10').

Mike McCarty 10-28-2012 04:59 PM

I would price it at one million pounds if it were my mum. That seems reasonable to me.

Steven Sweeney 10-28-2012 05:03 PM

Perhaps the shadow of the hair, cast upon her forehead, is much too intense in hue, possibly in too dark a value, with the fading edge too sharp. It has nearly become, in its "lazy S" shape, the focal point of the portrait--the rest of which is very accomplished.

Chris Saper 10-28-2012 06:24 PM

It's a lovely piece. You might look at the Stroke of Genius main site artist gallery - you'll see the range of prices artists charge for head/shoulders compositions -

Good luck!

Mike McCarty 10-28-2012 06:48 PM

I am a more sentimental that most. That said, there is a price at which I might say - well, for that kind of money I'll just paint it again. So you put the price at "standard" plus 100%. The price you place on the piece does not have to reasonable to the market. It's the market value plus your personal sentimental value.

We still have in my family the painting of my mother when she was one year old, done by her mother in 1919. Mum is now 94.

Steven makes a good observation. You could probably make that adjustment without the sitter being present.

Lewis MacKenzie 10-28-2012 07:07 PM

Thanks everyone, all excellent suggestions. Steven, I think you're right about that tone - I'll see about softening it a little. I'm just a little wary, as I have a bit of a bad history of post hoc adjustments going grimly awry!

Steven Sweeney 10-28-2012 07:16 PM

Just a lightening and softening, Lewis. Nothing drastic. I think it would pull the visual attention right back to the excellent rendition of the facial features.

Lewis MacKenzie 10-30-2012 04:04 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Ok, here it is with that shadow slightly altered.

Lewis MacKenzie 10-30-2012 04:17 AM

If anyone's interested, by the way, there's a slightly larger version of this on my blog, as well as a series of progress shots that I took whilst painting:


Muhammad Sida 10-30-2012 09:58 AM

Its beautiful lewis :)

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