Friday, February 10, 2012


I think I have mentioned in the past that I love the work of Robert Henri so I decided to do a study of this portrait titled AN IRISH LAD, hoping to channel Robert. I don't think the channeling worked but I think I learned a few things.

I believe this painting was done over a rust colored ground. I used white canvas paper which is fine if you are painting a practice piece or planning to frame an oil under glass.

He was in love with the face in this one and gave very little attention anything else. The clothing seems to be an afterthought.

His brushwork is lush. This practice made me realize that I don't mix enough paint at a time. That isn't a problem with very small paintings but it is when you start painting larger. It is something I have struggled with for years. Too much remixing slows the process and is frustrating.

The other thing I learned is that it isn't easy to get in the head of another artist as much as we all try.

An Irish Lad by Robert Henri

This is a photo of the original that I got from the Internet but unfortunately the color is not very accurate. I worked from a book of Henri's paintings. His last name is pronounced Hen-rye. It was an assumed name adopted by him at seventeen. He was born in Cincinnati, OH. in1865 to a wealthy family that developed real estate. His real name was Robert Henry Cozad. The family later moved to Nebraska where his father developed the town of Cozad but there were many conflicts between the developers and the local ranchers. Robert's father shot and killed an unarmed man in a scuffle and as a result was indicted for murder. The family fled and all took assumed names out of fear. He was a cousin of the famous painter Mary Cassatt but couldn't tell anyone out of fear that his family would be found.


Linda Popple said...

Henri is one of my favorites, too. I've copied one of his portraits and it was a struggle. However, I enjoyed it and like you learned from my experience. You did a really good job, especially with the color.

Kathy Cousart said...

Anita- I think you did a great job and I loved learning what you learned. Great practice and way to grow.

Anita Tresslar said...

Thank you Kathy and Linda. I think the reason I like Henri so much is his use of color in skin tones. He was not an inhibited painter.

Linda Nickles said...

Anita, your copy of Henri is very impressive! He is also one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing the history -- I really enjoyed reading about the link to Mary Cassatt.

Anita Tresslar said...

Thank you Linda. Henri has a very interesting past. The book I used is
It is a good book but has more black and white plates than color.