This was the last portrait sketch I did before beginning on some intensive head drawing study. More about that coming up on my next posts, but wanted to get this one from over a month ago posted first. You can see the reference photo by clicking on my sketch on Sktchy here.
This commissioned portrait of a darling little girl was really fun to paint but had some challenges, like trying to invent the pajamas hidden by the highchair straps. It took several drawings (including one of a baby skull I found on Google) before I was ready to move ahead with the painting as you can see in the process steps below.
Emi’s face was actually easier to paint than the pajamas, and I was tempted to keep working on them, probably forever, but the friend who commissioned the painting was happy with it as is, so I am too.
Below is some of the work in progress steps. Please note that the lighting changed the colors in some of the photos.
Although I’m happy with this pre-quarantine composition and painting, I regret not checking the drawing before beginning to paint. I sensed something wasn’t right and sure enough, when I did the digital tracing (below) I found my mistake, but it was too late. I’d either need to start over or let it go.
When drawing/painting people I ask myself, “Does it at least look human, if not that specific human?” Hmmmm. Well, I guess I can celebrate the parts that worked and let go of mistakes and remember to check my drawing next time! Also I might be coming to believe that sometimes the anatomy isn’t as important as the feeling I’m trying to convey, and that caricature or distortion might be ok (though it’s probably better when it’s intended).