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Henry (43 x 53.5 cm)

Henry Lawson, a late nineteenth and early twentieth century Australian writer and poet, is the subject of this slightly serious *‘portaricature’, (a fusion of portrait and caricature).

To enhance the viewing experience, Henry’s face has been placed just off centre on the canvas. There is adequate space around the subject’s shape and the painting is not overpowering. The background is dark and any details do not detract from the features of the subject’s face or the painting’s message. Henry has been given a very fluffy moustache.

This is not as formal a painting of Henry as one produced by Aussie Master, John Longstaff (1900), where the subject had a new suit. Henry, in this painting, has an earth-coloured coat and an orange-yellow coloured shirt that contrasts simultaneously with the violet-blue colours in the painting. The bright colour adds energy to the painting. Ochre coloured lines give a velvet appearance to the coat, and the brown colours are appropriate for an Australian literary hero who spent time in the bush.

Henry’s focused, large, telling eyes and slightly milky, yellowed skin tones are the artist’s ‘signatures’ in many of his works.

Attention has been paid to detail. Note the clock in the background that is similar to background clocks in some of his other paintings.

The artist’s light management, controlled, smooth strokes, and strong use of shape make this a preferred painting to his other impression of Henry. See Henry Lawson in Anything Portrait.

Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed.)

*© 2016 A word coined by the commenting artist.

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