It’s been quite a while since I painted a portrait, years actually, so I approached this commission with a bit of caution and a lot of worry. I picked the best photo out of the pictures that were sent to me and started to draw. This particular photo was not a high-resolution photo so it was a bit difficult to actually see into it (you pastel artists will know what I mean). It was a picture of two beautiful little girls – both with smirky little grins on their faces and a tumble of arms and hair everywhere. I adjusted the drawing a bit so the arms didn’t lead off the edge and began painting. Well, I thought I had finished the painting only to discover the noses just didn’t look right. Too long I thought to myself? After struggling with redoing those noses over and over, I sent a photo of the painting for critique to a friend who is very good at painting portraits. Yep, her advice was about what I had thought it would be, but putting the advice in motion and getting it right was a different matter. I think I must have spent two more days on those noses and I still am not thrilled with them. Of course, along this journey I kept seeing other things I thought needed improvement, so I reworked the eyes, mouths and cheeks. It just never ended. I tried the look in the mirror trick, the squinting theory and still could not get it right. I had become another victim of the “never ending painting” everyone dreads. And now that I look at the finished product (really?) and the stages leading up to it, I think I liked it better in the beginning – except for those noses! ….and maybe the eyebrows…..
The final, and I mean final, is above – two of the many many steps are below.