After several weeks of pretty agonizing self-doubt and wondering if I was going to finish these portraits, I finally completed them.
I finally discovered what was wrong with Josh Dun’s portrait. I found that his eyes were too dark and I don’t mean dark in the value sense. I saw that his eyes in the previous iteration of the portrait looked too angry. While he does like to be tough looking on stage, he doesn’t really have a dark soul. You can see it in his eyes. He has a lighter, colorful soul. Painting and drawing is not just about getting the shapes and values right in order to make the portrait right, you’re also wanting to capture the essence of that person in one image. I wasn’t capturing the right essence. Once I realized that, I could fix the line and the shape of his eyes and his mouth. And it immediately fixed what was wrong with the portrait. It still took several hours of working it and making the shapes right. However, I knew what I was looking for on this iteration. After about four hours of reworking his face, I finally got it to where it needed to be. And it was a relief.
On Tyler, the primary work was done on his beanie. It ended up taking three layers to make that beanie right. It was mostly about getting the color right in it. I first had the base layer. Then I had to go back in and put each individual groove of the hat in. Each line changed value as it went down his forehead which required a lot of different colors to be utilized. The third layer was about softening up those lines and making them feel like flexible fabric rather than just lines on a painting.
It was such a relief completing these portraits, and I am glad that they finally came together. Tyler and Josh have completed the “Blurryface” album cycle and have gone quiet in the last couple of weeks. I’m excited to see what they will have for their audience next.