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Holiday Portraits

I was recently commissioned to paint two paintings for the son of a friend who wanted to surprise his fiancee for Christmas. Paintings are a wonderful way to express one's love in a lasting heirloom that can be passed down. There were a lot of firsts for me on this project as I had never painted two portraits in one, I went forth and took my time making sure everything was in its place. There was plenty of stepping back, thinking, pausing, squitting that happened for both paintings. I have included process shots of the steps I did to complete both paintings.

Now onto the next painting.

Cheers to the New Year!

Sarah and Karson - 18 x 24 in; Oil on Canvas

As with any painting I complete, I always start out with a drawing. In doing so, I can always be assured that everything in their appropriate place. Then it is to the harder task in making sure all values make sense.

As with any painting, it all begins with an underpainting. This is where I see my fellow artists struggle. You have to let the process happen. Your first layer is never the final layer.

Making sure to step back and referencing the photo is key to getting the correct values and colors. I did scrape several layers of paint off and restarted. Sometimes you just have to do it vs. make a muddy mess. This is another area to know its okay but necessary to get the final result

The difficulty with two portraits is making sure they match in value. The mother is obviously in more sunshine, causing the child to be cast entirely in shadow.

You can see up near the left year, I scraped paint off. Making mistakes is all part of the game in learning and becoming better. It was in this stage I noticed that that the side of the face was not bright enough when compared to the shadow areas. I then went in with another value to bring out the contours of the face.

Here you can see the additional values I added. You can see how important of a difference it made.

Sarah's Big Catch - 16 x 20 in., Oil on Canvas

Unfortunately, I didn't take as much "in process" shots of this painting. This may because I had to break up the painting sessions way more than the dual portrait.

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