Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Portrait Commission Step by Step

My girls take piano lessons from the famous, lovely, and talented artist Angela Henrie. Some of you may know her name from her line of jewelry or her blog. She has 8 kiddos just like me. She even has 2 boys and 6 girls just like me (and my Aunt Joanna). I just love her, and my kids do too. I also dig her hot pink kitchen! Who wouldn't want to cook in there!

Here is Art Girl at her recital. Did I mention that Miss Angela is very Classy? Yes she is. I think it is from going to the same High School as me, Mountain View.

Here's Mini Me playing Brahms Lullaby.

Well, I begged Miss Angela if I could paint a portrait of one of her kiddos and she said "yes". So here is how I go about making a portrait for someone.

Step one: Arrange a meeting with the client and discuss what you want and the clothing. Angela really liked my paintings of angels and wanted one for her little Winnie. For her clothing, I draped and pinned some silk fabric on her and set her in the light the way we wanted. They both wanted a dark blue background and so we set up a black poster board behind her to set the values.

Step two: Talk with the model to loosen her up. As you can see Winnie was a little shy at first but we took care of that with a few jokes. Then, I just shot with the camera to get the model used to idea. The best shots will never be the first ones...ever. So relax and shoot away.

Step three: Have your model grow some angel wings right before your eyes. This might take a few minutes so be patient. Just kidding, we used some costume wings and propped them up to approximate what the lighting will be on the painted ones. Also, note how Winnie is starting to warm up and smile.

Step four: Choose which pose you like the best. Sometimes this can be agonizing and sometimes it is very easy. Winnie is so cute that it was hard to choose, so Angela had me email her a few shots and they had a family vote. They chose this one. The family just loves the way she smiles. Me too.

Step five: I did a mock up of what the wings will look like and the colors I would use for Angela's approval. I juiced up Winnie's skin a little with some color in her cheeks and made her eyes just a teeny bit bluer. I put in the blue background and of course, painted in some wings.

"Winnie" Angela's Angel. 2011

And here is the finished painting. See how easy it is? For you guys, not for me. I love painting angels. I think there will be more angels in my future. I'll keep you posted.