Nearing completion on my portrait of Owen Chase. Here he is departing Nantucket on a day when they would be immediately set upon by a storm, and later in the trip would be stove by a whale. This true adventure would then inspire the novel Moby Dick.
It was a bit of a process, but I am nearly finished with this piece.
I first had to create a sketch of Owen Chase based on the only existing portrait of him as a young man. I then built out from that sketch for my composition and gave him a sterner look than in the portrait. I assigned a hair color which was both compatible with the hair color that tends to run in the Chase line, and balance it with the tonal range likely from the portrait from real life.
I tried to capture something akin to Herman Melville's description of Owen Chase...
"a large, powerful well-made man; rather tall; ..with a handsome face ... and expressive of great uprightness & calm un(????????) courage. His whole appearance impressed me pleasantly. He was the most (???????)ing-looking whale-hunter I ever saw."
I chose the Old Man of the Mountain as my first subject because it is beloved by all of New England.
I love the quotation by Daniel Webster about this,
"Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoemakers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but in the mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men."