View Full Version : Baby name painting

10-29-2013, 07:16 PM
Hello. I don't work in watercolor, but I wanted to do a name painting for a baby. I could use your help in improving it.

Does the crooked lighthouse mean I should do it over? Should I ink the outline? How can I give it more punch?

I feel as though it is a good concept, but that the execution of it is poor. Maybe I should try it in oils. What do you think?


10-29-2013, 10:57 PM
Richard, I have moved your thread from the Watercolor Gallery (finished paintings only) to the Watercolor Studio so that you can get the help you are requesting.

Lovely beginnings!!


10-29-2013, 11:12 PM
This is a wonderful start, SundayPainter331! You are handling watercolor very well. I love the soft pastel feel for this.

The one thing I would change is the crooked lighthouse... it's the only part that looks like you accidentally drew it wrong. So, if you have time I think doing it over would give you a big improvement.

Overall, it has an illustrative look that is very appropriate for a name painting. Outlines could work well, especially to give the letters a little more punch. I'd keep outlines light on the other elements, and just a bit thicker on the letters. This will help the viewer's eye know what to take in first, and what to look at next. (Sorry, got my graphic designer hat on there for a sec.)

There's no reason not to do it in oils, if that's the look you want, or the comfort zone you work best in. Watercolor has a softness that's just perfect for a baby piece though, and I do hope you'll keep developing it. Let us know what you like and don't like, I guarantee you'll get a lot of helpful ideas here. Welcome!!

10-30-2013, 01:08 AM
I think this is lovely - I wouldn't change anything! Watercolour is perfectly suited to this - soft and delicate. I don't think it matters that the lighthouse is a bit crooked - it adds to the charm. I love the seaside theme - don,t know if you could add more things to fill up some of the blank space - sandcastles, shells, pebbles,beach-huts? But don,t overdo it! I was asked to paint a few baby paintings that had to include the baby,s name, time of birth, date and weight - so I included things like a stork flying overhead with a bundle in it's beak and the baby's weight written on it, building blocks with the letters of baby,s name, balloons etc. And I always included a bluebird of happiness - somewhere in the painting!!

10-30-2013, 02:35 AM
The fun style is fine, I don't even mind the crooked lighthouse but I would move it so it doesn't line up with the edge of the letter.


10-30-2013, 06:30 AM
Get the lighthouse correct - Redraw if necessary. You need some very dark values and some outlining would do it. You don't need to do it all and some thick and thin lines would also work. Use this as a practice sheet. Try a few variations on the letters to see what you like. Don't be afraid to use darker values in the shadows.

10-30-2013, 08:34 AM
I actually like watercolor for a baby's room. It's soft and lovely. I agree with the lighthouse not being lined up with the letter other than that I think it's GREAT!

10-30-2013, 10:47 AM
I love this! The crooked lighthouse is delightful... this is not intended to be a realistic landscape or seascape or still life... it's meant for a child, so keeping it appropriately child-like is perfect!

It has a colouring book appeal, so again, I (personally) wouldn't try to make it more realistic. You could increase the values in some of your elements to suggest better form. But, in essence, you have created a wonderful gift.

The A and the lighthouse together don't bother me at all.

10-31-2013, 05:44 AM
I think Andre and his parents will be delighted with your name painting.

The lighthouse being slightly crooked doesn't bother me, it just looks like the coast curved a little.

I think the little critter catching a fish on the letter d and the worm dangling on the line under it are a wonderful design element.

You could ink the letters in the name if you want them to stand out a bit more, but I like the high key aspect of the painting, especially for a baby's room.


10-31-2013, 07:06 PM
Thanks for the great suggestions and comments. It was very helpful.

I didn't ink it, but I did darken it with more watercolor and pencil lines. I kind of like it, even with the quirky lighthouse.


11-06-2013, 09:24 AM
Cute! Perfect for a baby's room. Maybe you could you extend the left side of the lighthouse down just a tiny bit so that there is a little triangle of the base of the base of the lighthouse peeking out behind the "A".

11-08-2013, 05:41 PM
That was a great idea, Michelle. I think that definitely would have improved it, now that you point it out.

I already gave it to the mom to be. It was well received.

This was really fun to do. Can't wait to try another one.