Today I'd like to show you what I was working on earlier this month for a friend of my brother's. She wanted me to do a painting of her mother as a toddler sitting on her mother's lap (this friend's Grandma's lap). I haven't done any portraits for ages, aside from the occasional random sketch of a stranger while waiting for pizza or something. I decided though to take on this challenge and after agreeing on a price, size, and medium I went to work. We also agreed since it'd been a while, she wasn't obligated to purchase the finished piece unless she loved it! I was okay with that, since I knew I could salvage the canvas & either try to sell it as is or remove the portrait & use it for something else. This way, no pressure for either of us.
The biggest challenge was using the photo she gave me! This is something I swore off ages ago---unless I was able to collect my own image by drawing from life, or shooting my own photo, I'd refuse to do any painting commissions. That's usually part of my inspiration---the composition of light, shadow, color, all directed by me to create the final image. I was open to something new to push my creativity though, and decided to work with what I was given to see if I could succeed with something that made the both of us happy.
First off, here's what the original 3 x 3 1/2" photo looked like:
This is the initial sketch on the 12x12" canvas:
A close-up of the faces with the first layer of pastel:
This is about 3/4 finished---if not almost finished:
Here's the finished painting, after it was checked out & approved by the new owner:
With this painting I've learned to not obsess over exactness & to be satisfied with "close enough". Knowing that my buyer is thrilled and very excited with the finished product makes me happy too!
Next up: a poppy painting marathon...