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Hard Life / Hard Light
This seems to me to be the most successful of the blue period portraits, David.
Lots of very subtle touches adding up to more than the sum of the parts.
I like the way the subject's facial expression suggests that he's come through a hard life and reached a place of calm and clarity. There's a lot of self-belief there, with his direct look at the viewer, but without any hint of confrontation.
The light and shade are ideal too.
Your so right James, it took a bit of time to find "that" expression but I knew he had it in there somewhere.
Light and shadow on the face is wonderful. The visible eye looking at us - wonder what the other eye is doing. The crazed face in the tattoo contrasting with, what I think of as, the sublime face of your model. I think this is rather cheeky.
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