FINALLY, I finished an oil portrait painting of my son! It’s been a couple years in the making. He’s now three (or, I like to say a “threenager”, which is a new term I heard from my wife the other day), but we took this photo when he was a baby seeing the beach for the first time.
For our first son, it was easy to find the time to draw and paint him (I did 3 portraits!). For our 2nd son, it took me over three years to finish one! For our 3rd child (due later this year), they’ll be lucky to get a sketch (just kidding).
This painting was created on hand-stretched organic cotton canvas.
It feels like it’s been a long while since I’ve written a post here! In the past couple of months, I’ve mostly taken a break from painting, as I’ve been focusing my artistic energy on building out a few of my Etsy shops (The Accounting Artist, Spanglish América and Kids Yoga Art).
However, luckily I have my wife to keep me on track for our personal paintings in our home! There is one that has been pending for some time, and now I’ve got a due date to get it done, which is helpful. It’s of our youngest son doing downward dog, which will match another one I did a couple years ago of our older son doing downward dog.
Here is a progress photo of the painting, which will be a combination of oil (for the portrait part) and acrylic (for the background).
This portrait painting is going to be given as a surprise gift for Christmas from the husband to the wife!
Finishing a portrait painting always feels like a grand accomplishment to me. A lot of work goes into these, from the initial construction of the canvas, to measuring proportions and sketching out the image, to painting all of the details, subtle tonal changes, and adding depth through thin layers of paint!
Here’s some recent progress on the portrait painting I’m currently working on:
I just have to paint in the marina in the background, and her husband next to her! It’s still quite a bit of work left – each person takes around 20 hours to draw and paint. The background probably takes about 10 hours of work…and making the canvas is about 2 hours of work…for a rough estimate of about 52 hours of work! It should be a great gift and I’m looking forward to delivering the finished painting!
This new portrait painting is of a husband and wife on vacation with a scene of sailboats in the background! It will be a surprise gift for the Mrs.
The unique mission for this painting was change the headshot of the wife from this photo for one from another photo, but to do it seamlessly so that it appears natural! With a little bit of math, I was able to do this and now have it all drawn out, ready to paint. This one will be done with top-quality oil paints on this hand-constructed organic cotton canvas:
It’s been a rush, but I finally finished the last portrait painting on my list for the holidays, just in time for it to be given as a Christmas gift. A student midwives at NOVA Natural Birth Center commissioned me for this painting, to be given as a gift to her older sister. It’s an oil painting on a 16″ x 20″ Belgian Linen gallery-wrapped canvas.
This portrait drawing was given to celebrate the Dad’s college graduation! The photo that the drawing is based on was taken at his thesis presentation, where he proudly holds his newborn son. This drawing is an 8″ x 10″ on paper, drawn with artist graphite pencils.
Earlier this year, my wife, son and I went down to Palm Harbor, Florida to visit my parents in the same house that my grandmother used to live in. I think our son slept nearly the whole drive there, which was like a dream come true for him! We jokingly said it was the best day of his life.
Seeing the Ocean for the First Time!
During our visit, we went to Honeymoon Island one evening, which was our son’s first time seeing the ocean. He was actually asleep in his car seat as we pulled up, so we carried him in his seat over to the beach, and plopped down while watching the sun slowly go down over the waves. You could smell the sea salt, hear the songs of the seagulls, and feel a light breeze in the air. To these peaceful, natural sounds, our son woke up in his seat and gazed out upon the ocean for the first time. I think he really connected with the nature…he usually cries when he wakes up, but he was as peaceful as could be, as he gently woke up while peering out into the beautiful seascape.
Oil Portrait Painting
After a few minutes passed, we all got up and waded out into the water and took photos. This 11″ x 14″ oil painting on canvas is based off of one of those photos, while my wife was holding him:
Lately my wife and I have been talking a lot about what it will be like to introduce a sibling to our son. We’re currently reading a book called The Birth Order by Dr. Kevin Leman, and I read that introducing a sibling is akin to the ‘dethronement’ of the first child! We’ll have to make extra sure that he feels just as loved as he does now. Of course, that adjustment will be just the beginning of a lifelong relationship. With the right parenting early on, I think he’ll be such a nice older sibling.
A few days ago I finished a pencil portrait of our friends’ daughters, one of whom just turned one year old! The way the older daughter is embracing her younger sister is very sweet, and it makes me think of the many dynamics at play in sibling relationships! I hope this drawing will be a nice keepsake as they continue to grow and become adults!
A few weeks ago my wife, son and I went to Florida for a few days, and it was the first time our son saw the ocean! He was actually asleep when pulled in to the parking lot, so we carried him out in his car seat and sat on the beach, about 30 ft from the water, listening to the sounds of the waves, and watching the sun slowly make its way down the horizon. After a few minutes, our son calmly woke up and gazed out upon the ocean. It was serene. Eventually, we got him out of his seat and made our way into the water (holding him above the water, of course!).
This oil portrait is going to be a photo of him being held over the water, gazing out into the sea.
As with all of my portraits, it starts with meticulous measuring and drawing! As this progresses, you’ll see it turn from a simple drawing to a colorful and lively oil portrait!