Art desk scrubbed, pastels ready, paper cut, charcoal in hand, reference propped at just the right angle…
Deep, contemplative breath in, nervous exhale as I prepare to begin another portrait.
Grasping for my inner creative, I look at the photo reference, with the jet black backdrop behind this cute chubby baby, and I try to envision the finished product. I used to aim to be a camera: copy the image as exactly as possible. With some experience and years of art behind me, this is no longer my goal. I now try to take an image and “make it sing,” however that translates on paper.
Baby Boy, 11×14 preliminary sketch
I sketch out the sweet little boy; feel pretty good about feature placement. Now it’s time for the dreaded background. In my mind’s eye, I see a light, wispy something or other, which is not much help. Instead of agonizing over it, I just jump in.
Working on a deadline, I don’t have time to mess around.
The joy of being back at my art desk after a few busy weeks, mixed with determination to get the portrait finished, ended up surprising me with yet another evolution of my art.
I’ve found over the years, that even though you are creating art with your own hand, your own head and your own heart, the results can sometimes surprise you. Though you may have drawn something in the same way many, many times, all of a sudden the finished product is something unexpectedly and delightfully different.
With this portrait, I unknowingly used a lighter, looser hand, less defined edges, and worked the color and texture of my pastel card into the painting. I was (thankfully) quite happy with this new result, and am very glad that the new owners are as well!
Baby Boy, 11×14 pastel on card