Of all the nesting projects on my list, this was perhaps the most important to me. Strange I know, as it doesn't seem to have much to do with a new baby, but I really, REALLY, wanted to finish a portrait of Scarlett before her baby sister arrived. I painted a portrait of Audrey a couple years ago and thought I should get Scarlett's completed so as not to be "behind" with two to do. There is also something about an increased focus on Scarlett as I'm worried about her transition from baby to middle child!
So I am so thrilled that I have finished this Portrait of Scarlett:
There is something so joyful about working on a portrait of someone you love. It becomes a meditation of sorts. I was able to spend hours observing her features, the personality in her stance, the coloring. I worked from some photographs I took and think this one of Scarlett on the push trike really captures her energy and confidence. She's a take-charge kind of little girl!
There is also something unnerving about working on a painting of a subject you love. My expectations are always that much higher and I am more concerned about a strong likeness, not just a good painting in itself. I had to gear myself up every time I set to paint--try and boost my confidence for the task. I was happy, however, that this seemed to go better than expected. There are parts of the painting that bothered me but surprisingly, her face came fairly easily.
Scarlett is at such a beautiful age and it's so fun to compare her to her older sister at the same age (Audrey was actually a few months younger in hers, but you wouldn't realize it given her thick head of hair!). The paintings reveal a lot I think about their different moods and personalities. And their coloring is so different! One of the many fun things about children: they are so individual. (But these two have the same cute rosebud mouth.)
Scarlett recognizes herself in this painting and seems to be pleased to have it hanging on the wall next to her sister's.
I love the chubby hands and feet at this age!
And I love that Scarlett's hair forms ringlets now!
It was fun to incorporate the push trike in this painting. I love the portraits of Sargeant that have the subjects in an environment, especially the ones of children. I didn't do quite that, but I'd like to sometime. I wanted this one to be compatible next to Audrey's, and I think it is, but I've got plans for other portraits--can't wait to do one of the three girls together!
When I last posted a painting (the Hollyhocks) someone suggested that I share a "tutorial" about it. Not really possible in my mind, but, it gave me the idea to document the progress of this painting. I haven't done that before--I've always thought I wanted to keep it under wraps until it was finished and not reveal the process or struggles along the way. But I've decided to share it, and it's kind of fun to see how the painting emerged--areas of focus, corrections, changes... If you're interested in a glimpse of the work as it progressed every few hours click below.
This painting is 20"x24"-- so Scarlett is close to life-sized, which is how I prefer to paint a portrait.