Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I am trying to do a portrait of my mother. She will be 3 years dead at the end of this month. She was a lovely lady who smiled a lot and was always cheery and in an upbeat mood.
If there is a heaven and if she was not good enough on this earth to get into heaven then there will be a lot of people in hell and I will be one of them!
I think, for a start, that my values are not the best in this one. Funny how it looks ok until I see it on the computer!!


  1. Anne, it is a very arresting portrait. It's all in the eyes I think. Lovely

  2. The computer is a great tool for "seeing" where we could improve our work, it is a great tool for "seeing" our mistakes. I hate using that word, too early for me to think of a better one.

    Anne your Mam looks like a beautiful woman with a beautiful heart. She does have kind eyes.

    Did you make that values tool?? Why not????

    Have a look at your reference photo, and see the tiny creases at the corners of her mouth? You need to paint them in.

    Why don't you draw her from the reference photo you used. Seriously. If you do that, you will find painting her will be so much easier. Send me the reference picture too, and I will draw her as well. That can be my project for the week, and we can compare drawings!!!

  3. it takes courage to paint a portrait of a deceased loved one. I made several portraits of other people before I attempted my father. And then i did several "studies" before i jumped in and painted a rather small portrait.
    but now that you've done it, I have a question for you. Did you use a photo taken with a flash? the flash automatically flattens the photo because there are no shadows for you to work with. I see you did not use watercolors, so there is a lot going on that i can't help you with. Make it darker near her temples, that always helps. a slightly darker upper eyelid/lash makes a difference too. Don't be afraid to put details in her ear, because that's part of what you see.You can't be literal and then not literal, it actually brings attention to that ear.
    ps i take more than one photo of my painting and look at it on the computer. The different size (I think that's what it is) really makes a difference.

  4. Your Ma had a lovely face Anne...she looked like a very caring person and she had the 'Irish eyes' ;)

    I don't know much about acrylics but I do think that adding some shadows to the face will achieve a more 3D look...;)

    Well done Anne!


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