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.
This is another boating picture, this time in a punt on the River Cherwell in Oxford, England, from the summer of 2018.
I toned the canvas with Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow Medium, using my blade to spread it. I like to leave areas of it showing through, as in parts of the boat.
It’s such a peaceful activity in a very beautiful city.
Oil, 9 x 12
Then I tried another version in oils, again with the same acrylic red and yellow underpainting. I like some of the effects, but the faces are indistinct, and the oils seemed to become too thick. I have more to try yet!