Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Portrait Artists, Help...

Hello, I hope this post finds you well and at peace this fall. 

I was so lucky to be able to participate in Ted Nuttall's workshop a few weeks ago.  This darling little boy is my friend's son.  The photo was picture perfect to start with.  I decided to work with a photo of a child because if I was going to be in a workshop with a master like Mr. Nuttall, then I wanted to ask the best how to paint what is the hardest for me.  I think it is so hard to paint a child's face because they have no wrinkles and fine lines.  Their skin is so smooth it is hard to show the forms on flat paper.

I have shown 3 phases of the painting here.  I was in love with the image before the first image on top.  I don't have that photo.  As you can see I layered in colors.  I have overworked some areas and do not think I can show this to my friend now.  Although, my goal was not to have a photo realistic painting, I was not intending for a sunburn look either.  I am happy with some parts of the painting, but, certainly not overall.  I do not know if I can save this painting or I must just start over.  If you have any tips, I am all ears.


  1. I think it looks very nice Linda! You have some lovely colors here and he looks darling! And how lucky that you got to take a Nuttal workshop. So cool. :)

    I paint portraits so I have just a bit of advice. The sides of his nose and the tip where it curves under could be darker. This would help create more form. And I don't think it looks overworked, I think it looks lovely. Something else I would consider is deepening the contrast in his eyes too. Facial features are typically where the darkest values are found on a face, especially with children.

    I am sure your friend will love it!

  2. Hi Liana! do you follow A Blob of Color, Cristina Dalla Valentina's blog? She is a master of portraits. Maybe if you take a look at her children's portraits you could change some small details that make the difference. I think you began very well, but I'm a beginer also....happy painting!

  3. Well I think he is just lovely like this , you could do this or that but why? ... he is already gorgeous, and he would risk looking overworked. If you are not happy about him, if I were you I would just make another one and not risk ruining this little treasure.

  4. What a gorgeous piece. Beautiful colors and you captured such a sweet look.

  5. That is a gorgeous child!! You are off to a great start. Portrait painting is not my strong area. Crystal Cook does some magnificent portraits I would follow her advice. It is really beautiful the way it is. I'm envious of your workshop with Ted Nuttall.

  6. I am quite enchanted with this. I just LOVE the splashes of color. Soft and playful.

  7. This is a beautiful portrait! It is so interesting how you have layered the paint and it's lovely to see it coming more and more alive at each stage. It must be hard to know when to stop! :0)

  8. Dear Liana
    This is a very clever painting masterly executed.
    You are indeed a talented artist.
    All the best to you


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your thoughts. I love hearing from you!