Friday, June 17, 2011


oil on linen


This is the first portrait I've been commissioned to do in forty years. It was done from an excellent photograph by the toddler's aunt. I enlarged the photo and "gridded" it. The enlarging and gridding distorted the photo a bit, but it still kept me on track and helped with placement of the features, colors, values, etc.

Besides rendering a decent likeness, I was concerned with depicting a soft, baby-like skin and complexion. I wanted to show some sculptural forms and planes without harsh lines or strong contrasts. I vividly recalled the paintings of early artists, whose children have elderly heads on childlike bodies.

I worked long and hard on achieving this baby look, making constant observations and corrections. Even when I thought I had finished, I kept looking at the painting on the easel, hoping I would not see another area for improvement. I kept noticing other faults. I even got up at 4 A.M. one morning to check on something and started painting again. I derided myself for obsessing and finally turned the easel around so I could not see the painting.

As soon as it dries, I'll bring it to the gallery, and hopefully, the aunt will like it.


Debra Kreiger said...
Awesome Cecelia! You've captured the wonderful innocence of youth.

June 18, 2011 10:11 AM

Taryn Day said...
You did a really nice job! Wonderful expression and very youthful!

June 18, 2011 11:54 AM

Bertie Brown said...
I think you have achieved your goals..your client should be well pleased!

June 18, 2011 3:24 PM

AutumnLeaves said...
This is absolutely stunning and that is one gorgeous little man!

June 19, 2011 8:11 AM

Claire Beadon Carnell said...
You've done a phenomenal job on this, Cecelia! Please let us know the response of your client - I know they are going to LOVE it.

June 19, 2011 8:36 PM

Ron Donoughe said...
Yes, very warm and sincere. Nice job. I liked how you described getting it right.

June 20, 2011 1:08 PM


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