by Tim Buck
Custer and Rembrandt 2 portrait paintings
I started painting a few years ago while living in Japan. Tried the Ross method, but couldn't get it to work.
Starting with photos I took, i tried doing Japanese landmarks, and eventually (over several years - I'm slow) came to my favorite subject - US Military history in the 1800's.
I noticed that there were not many portraits of 1860's-1870's military figures - photography was the big thing. So, I decided to try and paint one of Brady's subjects as if he had lived during Rembrandt's time.
I studied a little on the Dutch Masters' style and methods, and am pretty pleased with what I ended up painting. I have learned more about this style since (I didn't understand the gray under-painting process).
The most difficult part was developing the color scheme when there are no color photo's (or even paintings that I could find) of Custer. He was known as "Yellow Hair" and is almost always portrayed as being blond, but a close look at his photos reveals a freckled face and I presumed he probably had sandy/reddish hair.
Anyway, I am working more as I have time on developing this portrait technique. Also, this painting is accompanied by the next painting I did after someone told me to loosen up (they thought Custer was too "precise"). So, I tried to copy a Rembrandt self portrait.
It is not terribly accurate, but definitely looser than Custer.