Donna Bar Peled
The Man in the Hat
oil on canvas
48″ x 60″
oil on canvas
48″ x 60″
“Since early on in my life, art has been an essential part of how I process events and come to terms with them. Over the years, I’ve explored various mediums – predominantly charcoal, pastel, ink, watercolor as well as clay and plaster to see how the various materials impact the outcome. Around 10 years ago, I began experimenting with oil paint and found myself quite overwhelmed. It was clear that the range of possibilities with this medium is endless, but being self-taught, I find it extremely challenging to determine when my paintings are finished and often feel at a loss not knowing to proceed.
People have always been the focus of my work. The person in this painting is someone very dear to me whom I’ve known for many years – we’ve been through a lot together but throughout our relationship has remained steadfast. Initially I made many charcoal sketches. As I began painting, it seemed like a good idea to assemble the paintings. I do question the cohesiveness of the work and whether or not the background helps or hinders its impact.
I’d like to learn more techniques to be able to achieve the ideas I have as well as perhaps to better identify what I am trying to achieve. The name of this piece is ‘The Man in the Hat’. While the ‘hats’ we wear may change, some things remain constant.”
“I think it’s impressive that you’ve been able to so diligently stick with painting this series. Each painting looks very well-cared-for, you have a great handle of painting the face and of including an entire range of tones, that’s really good.
I think you should throw out your black and your titanium white though, and mix your neutrals with zinc white and different combinations of complementary colors. You can get a really rich black by mixing raw umber with ultramarine blue. Also, you might be interested in using an oil medium called Galkyd. Mix Galkyd with your paints and you can create very thin layers of paint that you can layer on top of each other so you can get that depth of different colors of the skin.
As far as the background goes, I would look at artists that are really different from you but still do portraiture, like perhaps Devan Shimoyama and Doron Langberg. They use both color and objects to inform their portraits. But you should be proud of the work that you’ve got here so far. You’ve such great subtlety in the expression on each of these portraits and I just fall into that. Well done!”