I began working on this very large piece (36"x48") earlier this year. I was inspired to paint it for a few reasons: first I grew up watching classic movies such as Giant, East of Eden, Breakfast at Tiffany's and many more. I'm also a great fan of James Dean. However up to this point I had never painted more than one portrait in one frame especially three portraits of some very well known faces. So the challenge with painting multiple portraits sharing one frame is allowing each subject to shine individually while also ensuring the piece feels whole.
I always begin with an abstract background that reflects the mood of the referenced image. I don't plan much else once I begin. I get a feel of the portraits by freely painting the faces, no preliminary sketch. Like I mentioned before the difficult part was balancing the painting without focusing on one portrait over another while also using the colors to compliment each other. I'm usually a very fast painter but this particular piece took over a month to complete. Not long after I completed it a collector paid a visit to my gallery and decided to purchase it along with a few other pieces.