Getting a likeness in portrait painting is not my strength. I have a friend who is kicks ass at getting a likeness, check out her Facebook page, Shauna Johnson illustration.
That being said, I can usually get about 3/4 of the way there … so this painting isn’t my best attempt. I could have taken the easy way out and painted from a photo, not that that’s any guarantee, but considering my model is an active 8 year old, it would have made sense.
Still, I’m taking this month and this challenge to stretch myself in a variety of ways. I know from experience that each time I do this, I end right back on my original path, but usually with more insight and focus.
Anyway, although he stayed in the chair for an admirable length of time, my little model was constantly moving, picking up nearby objects etc. I let him do what he needed to, just trying to center him when I was working on something specific, because I didn’t want to turn him off of modelling for me. This was our first time together, and he is a budding artist himself, so I wanted to paint from life so he’d see what the process was like, ask questions as I mixed the paint. I turned the portrait to him every now & then as I made adjustments.
There was no fixing the crazy eyes though, and the nose is at the wrong angle … well, it doesn’t really matter, the point is in the doing. I cropped the painting in half, the eyes don’t look as crazy then, and I’m sharing the side with my initials. I’ve been signing these daily paintings with my initials in a new way, to distinguish them from my previous miniatures which could have taken a week to paint, because the price-point is different. Though some, like this one, won’t leave the studio, and will eventually be recycled (painted over). That’s okay though, it’s called quality control.