Face No.5: Vulnerable

Since closing down Better, I have finally found time to go back to my Faces series. To see the start of the series, click here for Face 1, Face 2, Face 3 and Face 4. This series explores men’s faces using colour to sculpt the contours and reflect emotion.

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This painting turned out looking vulnerable, some combination perhaps of the exaggeratedly large eyes, the relaxed mouth or the neutral expression. The young man is quietly self-possessed, but open; not defensive.

This painting combines my favourite colours – yellow, pink and gold (not so visible in the photo) – grounded with sienna shades.

Face No.5: Vulnerable is painted in acrylic paint on a 50cm x 50cm stretched canvas and finished in gloss acrylic canvas. It is not framed.

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Face No.4: Sullen

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Face No.4: Sullen by Judy Backhouse © 2017

This face was inspired by a picture in Germaine Greer’s wonderful book, The Boy. The Boy is well worth a read, especially for mothers of sons in a world where there is so much focus on daughters. The beautiful illustrations (paintings and photographs) are a wonderful source of inspiration.

I liked the picture for its combination of angelic beauty with a direct challenge. I call the painting Sullen because it is a look I have seen on so many young men at that point where they stake a claim for independence. It seems to say “I am not who you want me to be; I will be my own person.” The refusal to participate comes across as sullen.

This picture combines reds and blues to create the pinky-purple tones with a little yellow and sienna for warmth.

It is painted in acrylic on a gallery wrapped canvas and is finished in a matt acrylic varnish. At 40cm x 40cm it is a little smaller than others in this series. It is ready to hang.