Tag Archives: children

Work In Progress – Getting Inspiration From Bad Photos

Since my kids rarely agree to model for me I often have to resort to photos. (I don’t use bribes. That wouldn’t feel like good parenting). I think a bad photo can be an excellent trigger for an interesting painting. The subject in a perfect photo is probably better left as a photo and using something you are not content with will to my experience leave more room for my own creativity.

I started this oilsketch from an out of focus badly lit photo of my youngest daughter sitting on the kitchen floor. I liked the pose, the reflected light from the floor and the limited palette.

I used titanium and zink white, cadmium red, cadmium yellow, terra di sienna and black..and a small touch of blue. It is painted on paper.

My Two Peppers Painting

Finally finished a small oil of my daughters where I tried very different colours than my usual ones. The first base sketch was made with acrylics and I haven’t completely covered it with oils.
I wasn’t pleased with the face of my youngest to the right so I repainted it to make it look like her and not a doll. As the painting has been put aside for a while I have been afraid to continue as my way of painting might have changed and the palette as well. I wanted to keep the sketchy look and not go into details.


Painting On The Porch Summer 2014

As last year I took out my easel to the porch enjoying the warm and light evenings. Here in the post are progression shots of a newly finished painting of my two daughters.  I take photos during the process. I think sometimes it is easier to spot things I’m not pleased with looking at an image rather that the actual painting.


The sketch was made with a lump of burnt wood I found at the beach.




Then I painted the background and dark areas (burnt umber) with a broad brush trying not to bother about details.

oil painting portrait


Adding flesh tones ( raw sienna, cadmium red, yellow ochre and titanium white)




Painted the clothes and messed up their faces loosing contrast. For the girls hair I used the same colours as for the skin plus the burnt umber and some cadmium yellow with titanium white for the sun bleached blond strands.



The second and final painting of the background. The sky is mostly cobalt blue and titanium white with some cadmium red and cobalt close to the horizon. I used the blue on the clothes as well on left pants and the blue t-shirt.



I really had to contain myself not to put in too much detail but focus on the areas of dark and light and it actually is a good way of achieving resemblance.







The finished painting.

oil painting girls on beach