Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Another New Portrait

This the latest in my series of foster children, just completed a week or so ago. The young lady's name is Erin, and as you can see she's an adorable-looking little girl. Like the other foster child portrait I posted, Erin has been awaiting adoption. If she were posing in person I would have had an opportunity to get to know her, which is a big part of making any portrait seem more alive. But I did my best to imagine her as a vivacious and perky girl who smiles easily and loves people and fun. She simply looks innately happy and attractive to me and that's how I tried to paint her.

The reference I used for this was shot outdoors, meaning skin tones could be different, but here they are really quite warm. Doing a portrait from a photo reference without an opportunity to see the actual subject is not optimal of course, but in the case of these foster kids I've made an exception. If I was doing a commission, I would need the subject to sit in my studio, under controlled-temperature lighting, where I would do a preliminary color sketch and shoot perhaps 20 to 50 reference photos. I'd also try to have more than one sitting if possible to at least start the final portrait. That isn't always possible when you're painting someone whose time is limited, but the first reference sitting is a must. At about 7 inches the head in this 12x16 portrait is near life-size.

As soon as this dries sufficiently, I'll ship it to the Heart Gallery that will display it.

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