I loved painting this picture of my husband and grandson. Everything about it felt sunny and happy. I took the photo at the end of a very pleasant week that the grandchildren stayed with us, at the end of which we delivered them back to their parents on this beautiful beach on the shore of Lake Michigan.
My favorite part of the painting is my grandson’s fingers and their shadow. His pose is so characteristic of him, including the way he is concentrating on pushing his foot into the wet sand. I also enjoy the shadows and their part in the composition.
Recently I tried two more one hour portraits, but this time from photos I’d taken in the past year. They were useful studies, again with good learning experiences involved. The process forces quick decisions, and sometimes they are wrong! In the first picture, the angle of the face should be tipped forward more. (I used this study as a practice for a more finished painting).
In the second painting, the general positioning is good, but the eyes are too low, even though I was comparing distances with the end of my paintbrush. However, she has the right look of intensity and concentration. I’d like to do this one again as a more finished painting.
They are both oil , 11 x 14, painted on canvas board (toned chromium oxide green).
From a photograph I took of a granddaughter, last summer, swinging at my house. As soon as they arrive, they like to run out to the swing and then it’s so easy to capture happy faces! The opposing colors of the fence and grass were actually like that, but I exaggerated them as they picture her ‘all on’ or ‘all off’ personality. I like the way her hair blows back in the swinging breeze.
My daughter-in-law suggested that I paint something for my son’s birthday and sent me a photo of their youngest daughter to work from. I thought it was a lovely expression, a fun pose and a great background. It came together really well and the result makes us all smile.
It’s still in my possession, but I will give it to my son when he moves to a new house in the summer.
This is a one hour study from a photo. I love sleeping pictures because they are so unposed and the person is very relaxed. This daughter, though, thinks that it’s unfair to catch her without her knowledge, and I can understand her feeling of vulnerability. However, I still like sleeping pictures.
It was fun to see it come together as I placed the colors and values. I concentrated on her face; if I’d allowed myself more time, I would have changed the shadow on her arm, and worked on the fabric of her dress a bit more.
I painted this portrait of my youngest daughter from a photograph that I took in the spring of 2016. The photo was taken in a cafe in Chicago, after our we had just enjoyed a very good family trip to the Adler Planetarium. I think she had a special drink here, which is one reason for the pleased look on her face. I think she also looks calm and dreamy-maybe tired!
I painted this after watching videos by Matt Philleo www.realisticacrylic.com although I did not completely follow his methods. He gives good information and teaching on painting very realistic portraits in acrylic, which were helpful and useful, but I decided to use oils in a slightly looser manner.
Now I’m adding a time limit (guideline!) to my triad limit. I’m trying to keep each painting time to around an hour—challenging! This triad is Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue (plus Titanium White).
I decided to try the skin tones in the same acrylic colors, and I was using one of my larger brushes to try and capture the big tones and not fuss with the detail. I was pretty excited that I actually could paint as loosely as this!
This time I used the Catalyst Blade for the background and the skirt. It was great fun!
I’m trying to limit myself to simple triads of colors this summer. This one is Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue (plus Titanium White, but I think of that as a constant necessity, not part of the triad).
I used oils for the skin, changing the cadmium yellow medium for yellow ochre.
I used a photograph of my granddaughter at a fast food restaurant play place as the basis for this painting. I love the wildly mixed colors, which feel to me like the energy, noise and sometimes chaos, of these play places.