Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Let me first start off by saying that I really love this painting. It's a watercolor I did of a friend of mines little girl. I think it looks like her daughter (is she not so beautiful!) so that was a great surprise for me when I completed it because I find portraits really hard to do. First, I'm always what if I insult the person and they think it's awful? They think I must think they look crazy? OR even worse they think I'm the worst artist to walk the face of the earth. What if they look too old? That is so easy to do...a little bit of shading can turn to crows feet faster than Judge Judy can quip about urine and her shoes. The other thing is getting paid for portraits. There is a lot of thought that goes into them since I'm not a "natural" at it. I put too much time into them for what I ask to be paid but on the flip side if they hate it they should'nt have to pay for it. But then I just put all this time into it for nothing. What am I going to do with a portrait of your neice Bethany? Over the years and with lots of practice I've found a few tricks that seem to help me. Especially when doing a portrait of a child. Many years ago I took a class called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It was based on a book that I've found to be one of the greatest books around for new artists who are trying to teach themselves how to draw. The idea is that you turn the image upside down and it will change what your eye sees so that your brain does not register it as the literal object but more shapes and shadows. It REALLY works. Hopefully I'll get to do more portraits in the future. It seems like when Christmas gets close people start looking for unique things and ask about them. Maybe with more practice I won't have to worry so much about making a mistake. You know what they say about practice! :-)  


  1. I am totally drawn to this portrait! She is beautiful! Perhaps that's why you were able to execute it so connected with this little girl's beautiful spirit and it couldn't help but show itself through you.

    1. That is very sweet of you to say Cathy. :-) I think you may be on to something! I have a dear friend who is an amazing portrait artist and I think what you said about connecting with your subject is spot on. I've been lucky enough to watch him paint a portrait and he is very careful to creat a "mood". Something that draws him in and draws out the personality of his subject. I'm so glad you feel drawn to it, I take that as a high complement! :-)