These three siblings have arranged to give their mum a birthday portrait of each of them and as it's the year of the Queen's Jubilee we came up with the idea of painting three canvases red, white and blue! I am painting on 9 x 12" deep-edged box canvases which are quite small but collectively make an impact and can be propped up side by side or mounted vertically down a wall. It took me a while to compose each of the portraits. It should have been an easy task but I toyed with the idea of a close crop on each of their heads, tilting them within the frame or showing more of the background. As Ed is looking up at the camera his eyes appear lower in his head but this looked wrong when all three faces were placed together. I decided I needed to line up their eyes and the only way they worked together was to place them all about half way down the canvas instead of the more pleasing composition of thirds. After drawing their faces onto canvas I set about blocking in the main colours of skin tone and background colours making sure I could still see my drawing through the glazes of paint. I wanted to ensure the red, white and blue theme would work with each person and painted them all together at each stage. Next I concentrated on painting their features with a fair amount of accuracy to establish the shapes. My next focus will be in building up glazes of colour to recreate realistic skin tones... so keep watching!
Merry Christmas (again)
9 months ago