I have always been a big Ray Charles fan and when I was an art student at The Ohio State University I saw him live several times when he preformed in downtown Columbus. I found a painting of him on one of my old C D’s and decided to paint this portrait. I chose to use yupo paper which is very different to work on because the paint does not soak into the paper. The colors move around and react with each other in the strangest way but I love the richness of the colors as they dry on this strange paper. The truth is, in spite of the name, it isn’t paper at all but actually a sheet of plastic. I loved using all the different colors in this portrait and I had to learn to live with some of the uncontrollable edges and the fact that fingerprints on the paper caused the watercolor paint to react in a weird way. The deep blue indigo colors in the background add to the old atmosphere of a smokey nightclub and I thought the old microphone was a nice touch. I have used this painting in several of my classes to show how you can really push color in a portrait for a more dramatic result.
Watercolor Collection of the Artist