Friday, May 4, 2012

Painting a Portrait

I recently had the honor to do a portrait of the late Schree Brogdon and baby Lily. The end result, I felt, was touching and delicate.

In the following photos you can see my step by step approach to rendering the subjects in acrylic on canvas. The finish size was 16x20 inches.

In the first photos you can see I have made a detailed pencil drawing on the canvas. This is sealed with fixative to prevent smearing. Next the background is carefully worked in around the figures, and a sienna tone is added to the figures allowing the sketch to show through.

Outline areas are then reinforced with paint before adding a medium flesh tone. Each tone of flesh is added separately, since wet blending is prohibitive in acrylic. I add darker shadows then work my way up to the lightest values.

Lastly, details and highlights are added to finish the subjects. This includes teeth, eyes, hair, and jewelry. The same procedure is followed for the baby separately, because of the slight difference in skin tone on the newborn.

I enjoyed doing this portrait and hope it is loved by the family for years to come. If you would like a portrait of one of your family members, you can reach me at 501-278-5547 on week days or at

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