Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fixing up a portrait

I have always shyed away from portraits. But my last commission was a portrait (with a horse) and I was nervous about representing her well. I recognize though, that moving into those fears is a good thing. So, this past weekend, I had a neat opportunity present itself to work on a portrait. A friend had a portrait of his daughter that he had commissioned years ago. He was never really happy with the entire outcome and showed me with an invitation to work on it. I was a bit reluctant, but our entire group strongly agreed that the "before" portrait looked a bit cartoonish - like a cute little head put onto a cut out like we see at the county fair! See what you think. He shared with me the original photograph where I saw her in a cute little pink sweater.

After sleeping on it all night, I decided to have a go at it - thought I'd give it a dark blue background to help her pop out and to contrast with the pink - and bring out her blue eyes. Then, I gave her a pink sweater like the photograph. Added more red to her hair as she was a strawberry blonde, and more definition on her eyebrows and her eye lashes. A few highlights and a button, and I called it "finished". It was a better outcome for sure, and it was a good lesson for my students about backgrounds and palette choices. They matter!

See what you think in the before and after...

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