Portrait Complete!

A week or two after we put the “For Sale” sign in our yard this Spring, our across-the-street neighbor came running over and asked if I would be able to do a portrait of their children before we moved away.  She knew I painted and had seen my work before.  We’d talked briefly at the neighborhood Christmas Party about it, but I hadn’t heard from her.  I think she panicked that I’d be gone before we could consummate the deal.  We talked briefly about what she had in mind, and she asked what I thought would work best.

I knew we weren’t going to move out immediately, so I suggested photos outside in the children’s Easter outfits.  We were fortunate a few weeks later to have a picture perfect day, and I set the kids up outside in front of their home.  The contrast of shadows behind them and the direct sunlight on them was a great composition.  I loved the flowy dresses, the seersucker suit, the rough-hewn rock, and their innocent smiles.  After the brief photo session, I reviewed the photos with the parents by e-mail and we combined poses from several images to come up with the desired final position.

Pose 1Pose 2

Here's the combined pose for reference - cut and pasted together

Here’s the combined pose for reference – cut and pasted together

I’ll show the beginning underpaintings with little captions to the end to show the progression.  Rich Sharick, a professional photographer friend of mine took the final photo in hi-res so the client could have prints and giclee canvas prints made at some point in the future.  The final piece was 24″ x 30″ wide and we had already determined and measured over the piano for the right size with a frame.  I’d shown them frames and we decided to add a white linen liner to accentuate the painting.  My neighbors seemed very happy with their new heirloom, and image captured forever of a very special time in their children’s lives.

Rough blocking in of color, lights and darks.

Rough blocking in of color, lights and darks.

Adding grass, shadows, suit color, rock colors and sky reflection in window

Adding grass, shadows, suit color, rock colors and sky reflection in window

Worked on the house details, bush in back, grass, rock and background tree.

Worked on the house details, bush in back, grass, rock and background tree.

Finalized house details, started in on hair, face, clothing details.  Notice only half the pinstripes were done and not pattern on the dresses yet.

Finalized house details, started in on hair, face, clothing details. Notice only half the pinstripes were done and not pattern on the dresses yet.

Finished up on design choice on the dresses (simplified plaid to just stripes) and worked on skin and draping of fabric.

Finished up on design choice on the dresses (simplified plaid to just stripes) and worked on skin and draping of fabric.

Completed bow in hair, shadows all about, untied shoelace, sun reflections in eyes and shoes.

Completed bow in hair, shadows all about, untied shoelace, sun reflections in eyes and shoes.

The final result over the piano with the three adorable subjects.

The final result over the piano with the three adorable subjects.

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