Businessman and Philanthropist Portrait
Posthumous Oil Portrait Painting of Sir Humphrey Cripps
Visionary Founder ~ Velcro Industries
The late Sir Humphrey Cripps was a renowned businessman and philanthropist, as well as an avid art collector. After acquiring the patent for Velcro he transformed it from a niche industrial product to a household brand name. This three-quarter length portrait was commissioned to hang in Velcro's Manchester NH headquarters.
This oil portrait depicts Sir Humphrey on the day he received the Queen's Bachelor's Medal from Queen Elizabeth, conferring knighthood upon him in recognition for his charitable works. The photo reference was of high quality, but the photo's background – set in the inner quadrangle of Buckingham Palace, where the ceremony took place – left much to be desired. It was blurry, dark and dank. Marvin, who felt an important painting like this required as elegant and appealing a backdrop as possible, did extensive research and was finally able to cobble together a multitude of photos to fill in the gaps and give him what he needed to make as beautiful and compelling a portrait as possible.
Painting a successful posthumous portrait goes far beyond merely blowing up a photo in paint. Bringing a reference photo to life requires not only strong technical skills, but most importantly, a great knowledge and understanding of visual phenomena if the desired result is to be a painting that truly comes to life.