Christmas gifts

The best gift of all is life. Just being here, with choices.
Grandchildren are a gift in themselves.
A last minute decision to paint likenesses of all four (for Christmas gifts) has meant for a week of concentrated painting sessions. Yippee!
I am working from photographs, so there are limitations of course. But, two down, two to go. The first one needs some adjustments, so I will post some images of the second painting.
Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

Because the background stripes might have overwhelmed the picture I washed them over with some clear medium mixed with a small touch of whitish blue. I have masked up a square painting surface on the white board – hoping for a spectacularly clean finished edge!

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

When I see the images in this sequence, the painting seems to weaken as it “progresses.” Some adjustments needed here too! I have found with children that the drama of too many strong planes of colour ages the face considerably, so perhaps I am working a little too much against that.

It was pertinent to read Aline’s latest post about portraits and likenesses. I am thinking of these as likenesses!

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13 thoughts on “Christmas gifts

  1. Gee, thanks for the citation. And for the tip about strong planes in children’s faces. I had been trying to figure out what it is about children’s faces that makes them look like children. It’s so hard to depict youth–how is it that we can have so much fun doing such hard stuff? I think you are right about the progression. There is something very sweet about Robert’s expression in the first one. In the eyes, I think. Or the looseness of expression. But it’s terrific and I know they are going to love it.

    1. Thanks Aline. I agree with you about the first one. The freshness is still there and depth of tone from the charcoal gives it punch. I need to put some oomph back in. I am babysitting him this morning, so will have a close look for oomph!

  2. I’m very impressed at the tackling of the babies in paint as well as baby sitting! By coincidence I’ve posted to you, by snail mail,(how retro) an article on this very subject, portraiture. Good luck with this.

  3. Sweet! How did you decide the different colour backgrounds/stripes for the different children – was it to do with their own colouring or was it something about their characters? Was this one the most difficult to do because he is such a little babe?

    1. I think he was the second most difficult. The stripes related to how I felt about the children as individuals as well as their favourite colours. This one was ‘blue for boys’ mainly and brown to ‘ground’ him in the earth, as a new arrival.

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