portrait Lil’ Ben redo prog #5

more details and more background washed in…

photograph and child portrait progress
a wonderful smile

I keep the photograph that inspired the portrait close so I can measure and make sure that the features are correct. Just a tiny bit off will make the portrait totally wrong. I am trying to get real good at likeness now.  Always striving to improve.



Little Ben’s Portrait Finished

baby portrait
I love this little guys smile and that wonderful reflection in the mirror behind him.

BTW I use and abuse all family members and friends, as I grab photographs to work from whenever I see something cool so I can practice painting of the human form.  The photograph I am using for this one was taken by Sandi Shirley, my co-grandma. Thank you!

My goal was to get Ben’s likeness and I finally feel that I have done it. It does look just like him. Yay! Such a cute baby with two of the deepest dimples you have ever seen. Dimples are not easy, go ahead and try em. It was tricky to get the lighting right, but I feel like the reflection is working correctly too. At least I hope so. What do you think? Be gentle… I’m an emotional artist ya know. 🙂

Little Ben prog 1 & 2

Focusing on the center point of my inspiration, which is Ben’s smile and the wonderful reflection in the mirror behind him changes the portrait a great deal. Here is the layout sketched in and background wash beginning. The second view is after some more washes. I am taking this slow and gradual as I try to maintain a better realistic representation.

Ben progress shots 01 & 02

Next I will work on the details.


baby watercolor portrait progress

Cute Little boy smiling in front of a mirror showing the back of his head.
I love the way his face is so bright and the reflection in the mirror behind him is more a warmly suggested view.

Still working on improving my portraiture craft specifically in the realm of “realism” . This is a progressive shot of Little Ben’s portrait, where I am currently adding darks mediums and lights to get the values right so I can start on the details to finish. One step at a time 🙂

little Ben’s portrait start over

Here is a more focused portrait design for the little guy, instead of doing a full body pose from the photograph. I love the way his face is so bright and his reflection is a warm suggestion in the background. Slowly applying washes to get a good study of the values.

smiling little baby boy with a reflection of his head in the mirror behind

watercolor portraits with realism

It is an honor to attend a class with Stan Miller at Spokane Art Supply on Wednesdays 1-4pm for Intermediate/Advanced Watercolor instructions.  It is so inspiring to work with such a talented master artist. I am working on improving my craft specifically in the “realism” realm. Currently working with two grandkid images,  this is Ben on the right. I am following Stan’s suggestion to focus up close and get the realism down pat… instead of doing the whole body layout.Ben and cousin reflection