An Ode to frida kahlo

About a year ago I saw this absolutely stunning painting of Frida Kahlo by one of my inspirations and fellow instagram users David Gray and decided that I finally needed to paint her. 

I didn't learn about Frida until I was 12 years old, but she has since been a constant reminder to embrace who I am, to create what I want, and to stand up for what I believe in. To me she represents strength, self love and authenticity. She's an original badass woman.

I've only painted one oil portrait before, so I don't really know what I'm doing most of the time and the idea of painting Frida was intimidating. But how else do you learn unless you try and make mistakes along the way! 

This painting is my ode to Frida.

Originally it started out as just a practice painting, with a boring gray background and no real intention to finish it. It's painted on crappy canvas board and it's probably painted all wrong but I don't care. I love it so much!

As I painted each new layer and came back to it over the last four months it evolved into a much truer representation of who Frida was to me, and I feel, who I am artistically. It doesn't need to be "correct", it just has to feel good to me. 

This is how the portrait started out. 

First layer - Frida Kahlo - Zoe Wood 2017
First layers - Frida Kahlo in oil- Zoe Wood 2017

I felt like I was making a mess of it, but I know from experience with my paintings that they usually look pretty bad to begin with! 

2017-07-22 15.11.15 - Copy.jpg

I really struggled with her eyes. They kept looking "doe eyed" rather than the "I don't give a F*** look" I was going for!

Second layers - Frida - Zoe Wood 2017
Second layers - Frida Kahlo - Zoe Wood 2017

I feel that I eventually got the right look in her eyes, but then her lips caused me some agony and craziness! I need some practice here! 

Adding flowers - oil Frida painting - Zoe Wood 2017
Flowers Frida oil painting - Zoe Wood 2017

As the painting progressed I realised that it looked a bit boring for a Frida painting, so decided to add some vibrant flowers and a more dramatic backgound. 

So here's the end result. I'm very pleased with how she turned out and also feeling slightly more confident in painting more faces. Keep an eye out for the next portrait!

Frida Kahlo Oil Painting - Zoe Wood 2017
Frida Kahlo with flowers Oil - Zoe Wood 2017 (1 of 1).jpg

Thanks for having a look and reading! 

xx Zoe

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