I probably average three portraits a year. I really enjoy doing them. It's an intensive in the subject I love painting most. I don't often get children though, so when my husbands friend recently helped us out on some home maintenance jobs, I was inspired to paint his baby girl's portrait as a thank you gift. Here are two things to keep in mind when painting children - or drawing them for that matter - 1. keep a LIGHT color palette, and 2. stay as far away from LINES as possible. When I was drawing or painting kiddos in the past, I had a hard time understanding why I could capture the image, their character, but they didn't look soft and youthful??? Seriously, it was them, only older. Well I'll share this with you now if I haven't already before. I am a freak for line work! Its mastery is something I look for first in the work of others and something I strive for. A personal mission of mine if you will. Also, I am one of the heaviest hands I know. Something I have and will most likely always work at keeping a reign on. It's gotten much better over the years, but it's one of those mental check list items whenever I am at the easel.
I'm happy with with the way baby Cora has come out. The challenge for me here wasn't line or heavy treatment as was the color of her hair, rather the lack of color. She has that fine, towhead color hair that is there but isn't. There are layers here in the final product, but I spent a lot of time looking at this hair and trying to decide how to treat it. I also looked at how other artists handled the same color. I'll tell you what I went with- BLUE! Ha! Now, there at least three layers of color here, but the final, "lack of color" color is blue. Yup. Mess around and see for yourself.
Don't you want to bite those cheeks!