Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Back to the drawing board

Quite literally. After my recent work's been reliant on imagination and composition, it's been nice to switch off a little bit and complete this commission from an old junior school friend. He asked me to do a portrait of his two young daughters for his wife's birthday at the end of this month.

I have to be honest, this is the first childrens' portrait I've ever done (I may have neglected to mention this to Brian). Before I had a baby myself, I used to avoid kids like the plague, and stuck stubbornly to painting pets and adults, but actually I've really enjoyed this project. Childrens', and particularly babies' faces, are so soft and unformed that you really have to have a light touch with the pencil. Their hair tends to be wispy and fly-away, and eyebrows and eyelashes are barely there either, so you definitely need to exercise subtlety and use the harder pencils to capture them. The photos were supplied by the girls' dad, and were great and numerous, although indoor, flash-lit photos aren't brilliant to work from because the flash really flattens facial contours and bleaches everything. The older girl's photo was taken outside, and was much easier to work from - gave a really easy light to work with.

Have taken it off to the framer's, just hope Brian & Michelle actually like it when they get it next week! Ughhh, I hate that bit - get really nervous.