How To Paint a Portrait of Jazz Musician Gerry Mulligan

Painting a portrait of anybody is no easy task. It requires mastery over painting, and a certain mastery over being able to draw and create portraits in order to make one that is both convincing and very impressive. Fortunately, you do not have to work as hard when it comes to making portraits of the big names of history. Normally there will be something about them you need to capture in order to make it look like them, and that in a way makes it much easier than when making the portrait of a stranger. In the case of this article, the focus is on making a portrait of the jazz musician, Gerry Mulligan. This is definitely a man who deserves to have his likeness be put on a canvas, but in order to properly capture him, you need to know what it is that makes him different from all of the other jazz musicians of his day. This article will provide some tips and tricks to doing just that, helping you so that you are able to paint a portrait of the famous jazz musician with as little hassle as possible. This article requires you to have some extensive knowledge on how to properly paint a portrait in order to follow the steps effectively, so if you are ready to paint a portrait of Gerry Mulligan, then continue to the steps below:

  • What you need to do in order to identify the colors of jazz. This can be a difficult step, as jazz is a difficult musical genre to properly describe. In fact, to this day and age, jazz is still quite difficult to put one’s finger on—but translating it in color is much easier. Aside from improvisation being one of jazz’s main elements, it also takes a lot of its roots from the early blues—so even then you can already see what color you can use. It is not entirely musical swing, but it is similar—and at the same time it is not entirely blues, but it is similar. So a good color you can use to identify jazz musicians with is the color purple, or indigo. Use that color as the base for your portrait.
  • What you can do to identify Gerry Mulligan. This famous jazz musician was a great composer and played many instruments, but he was most known for his baritone saxophone—which is not an easy instrument to play. However, he played it smoothly with an aura of lightness about it, which can factor into the colors also used in the background (as well as his pose). This man was also quite tall, so again, this can factor into how you make his portrait (of course you must know what he really looks like). To summarize, Gerry Mulligan played the baritone saxophone in an airy manner, and has a slightly imposing figure—these alone can already be used to make a wonderful portrait.
  • Sketch first before painting. And once you have finally figured out a good way to make your portrait, then you can start sketching his pose on a piece of paper (working on the background of the canvas as you go) before finally painting the great jazz musician with oil paints.

So long as you keep the key elements of what makes Gerry Mulligan a great jazz musician, then you will be able to capture his essence very well. Good luck with the rest of the painting!


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