Barkley Hendricks began making portraits of his friends and neighbors in the late 1960s. This life-size portrait depicts a young man called Steve whom the artist met on the street. Sharply dressed in white, this figure strikes a strong pose. This painting is actually a double portrait. Look closely into Steve’s sunglasses. One of the lenses reveals a tiny picture of the artist in front of Gothic windows!
Ask someone in your family to model for you with a mirror in the background. Decide what your subject will wear, and how they will pose. Position your subject so that you are able to see yourself in the mirror. Use colored pencils or paints to create a double portrait, featuring your model and your reflection in the mirror! Start by sketching the large shapes in your composition, then add the details.
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Barkley L. Hendricks (b. 1945), Steve, 1976. Oil, acrylic, and Magna on linen canvas, 72 x 48 in. (182.9 x 121.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase and gift with funds from the Arthur M. Bullowa Bequest by exchange, the Jack E. Chachkes Endowed Purchase Fund, and the Wilfred P. and Rose J. Cohen Purchase Fund 2015.101. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York