Muddy Paints for Days


I’ve been working on a painting for a few weeks now of my daughter and I. First time I’ve really written about my process from start to (almost) finished. Maybe that’s why my paints got muddy? Maybe because it was a portrait of motherhood so I try to rework until it looks perfect? I don’t know. 

I got stumped on my daughter’s face. I reworked and reworked. I was told to forget looking from the picture and go with my gut. Well, it happened and I was able to make her look like a child. But she’s not quite MY daughter. So, my face is forever cemented with some other child figure. Oh well, you live and learn. 

What do you do when your portrait subject just doesn’t look right? What techniques do you find helpful? 

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2 thoughts on “Muddy Paints for Days

  1. I find that if I take measurements, I can usually figure out what was the culprit that threw everything off. I also found I made errors when working on children; their proportions are different than an adult. Even if I knew this mentally, I think my brain went autopilot and treated it in adult proportions. That’s just me, live and learn again😁.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! That is a great idea, taking measurements. I did quick measurements just using my pencil and thumb but really sitting down and griding out, that’ll fix those bad foreshortenings, yeah? I’m right there with ya! I have to soften those wrinkle lines over and over, ha! Sad but it’s a reality..

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