View Full Version : Charlotte and Alexander

03-23-2005, 04:10 AM
I was going to start this after Easter but felt in the mood for drawing in the portrait so here is the start....my kids... Alexander and Charlotte...
Graphite on primed canvas.....4 ft x 3ft... Will be in oils..
cheers kim

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Mar-2005/54304-THE_KIDS_OIL.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Mar-2005/54304-AL_AND_CHARLIE_23_SKETCH.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Mar-2005/54304-CHARLIE_23_CROP.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Mar-2005/54304-AL_23_CROP.JPG

03-23-2005, 05:25 AM
I'm looking forward to this Kim, and will be keen to see how you cope with that lighting.


03-23-2005, 02:06 PM
Very interesting composition Kim. The expressions are good.

Anita Murphy
03-23-2005, 02:08 PM
I'm on board for this! I am going to tackle a portrait - don't hold your breath - and watching your WIPs are inspiration and a lesson at the same time.
Incredibly good-looking kids!

03-24-2005, 12:12 AM
Hi GUYS...
Mikey.....what lighting.?!! :eek: :D I think I'll have to play it by ear...or is it eye?
Phantom....yes I like the expressions too...just a little haughty and a little posed ...by me...took me about 100 shots to get this one and as for getting them to sit for the final sitting in real life...well wish me luck! :D
KA.....I'm very grateful that I've got such good models.....I just hope they don't leave home too soon... :D :crying:
cheers kim

03-24-2005, 04:59 AM
Next stage.....Australian red gold with lean medium wash and house paint brush....


have just rubbed back...the faces a bit after posting

03-24-2005, 08:54 AM
:clap: Bravissimo for another portrait WIP and ... thank you. Lots to learn here about the initial drawing !

03-26-2005, 06:03 AM
Hello Gilberte....I think I got a bit carried away with the drawing.... :D

Have started on the light areas using zinc white and naples yellow....touch of mars black for the dark areas...all with wax medium...I 've got a lot of light to paint in....have decided to bring the light source from the left side of the painting so it will hit the left sides of their faces (looking at the painting)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2005/54304-charlie_white_26.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2005/54304-al_white_26.JPG

Anita Murphy
03-26-2005, 07:50 AM
My model arrived on the plane from England ( :D ) last night so now I am set to do this along with you - step by step!

03-26-2005, 12:22 PM
This demo/wip needs to be bumped ... bumped ... bumped :cat:

03-26-2005, 12:26 PM
Great going Kim. They'll be good likenesses. I'll follow this all the way through.


03-26-2005, 07:41 PM
Hi KA....LOL....I hope your model is more sedentary than my two...I actually thought they might sit for me (when I started the eyes) but not much luck...
Hi Gilberte....grab a brush and help me with all this white.... :eek: :D
Hi Mikey.....I think I've got the likeness....a few discrepancies with both right eyes on both...but will look at later.....
cheers kim

03-27-2005, 12:57 AM
Excellent likeness Kim.

03-27-2005, 08:20 AM
Thankyou Phantom.... :)
cheers kim

Have added yellow ochre and burnt umber to the palette....


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Mar-2005/54304-27_charlie.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Mar-2005/54304-27_al.JPG

03-27-2005, 12:49 PM
Better than a demo in a book :clap:

03-28-2005, 03:06 AM
Hi Gilberte...thankyou...I hope you had a happy Easter...
Have worked on Charlottes face today....I've got the flu so will be an early night for me... :crying:
cough cough...sniff sniff ....kim


03-28-2005, 03:35 AM
Get well soon Kim !!!!!!!! Not much help for flu is there, just Aspirine I guess.

Nice to see how you bring Charlotte's face to life (actually scrolling up and down from your last post to the previous one ...) and portraying her right age.
You're so good at it, but then you're an art teacher aren't you ? Bravissimo !

BTW Charlotte and Alexander ... such royal names !

Ciao Bella !

Anita Murphy
03-28-2005, 09:01 AM
Charlotte is looking lovely - what does she think so far?

03-28-2005, 07:03 PM
Hi Giberte...thankyou for the good wishes...I'm taking panadol..(which seems to be working :D )..ah yes Art Teacher...sometimes I'm my own worst enemy...can get too technical and all that... :eek:
Charlotte and Alexander were the names of 2 of the boats in the first fleet...I didn't know at the time...but they are water babies...we live on the water..(on a lake) there are also two ferries in Sydney called Charlotte and Alexander...strange isn't it?..and stranger still the first award I won was with a portrait of Alexander...called "the swimmer" and he's qualified for the State swimming trials next Monday in Sydney...I am getting a bit off topic here...I think this portrait is going to be hung over the fireplace somehow.... :D

Hi KA.....Charlotte is very pleased with my progress so far..and she's glad I've decided this one is going in our loungeroom...she has so many portraits of herself hanging in her room...right back from :D when she was 6 months old :eek:she used to sit for me then... :D
ps how is your portrait going??
cheers kim

03-29-2005, 05:26 AM
Have worked on Alexander today...Carlottes face looks overly dark in the big photo so have posted her again with truer values (RL)
cheers kim


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Mar-2005/54304-CHARLIE_29.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Mar-2005/54304-AL_29.JPG

03-29-2005, 05:31 AM
Kim, I like the way the gold ground is setting the tone for the painting.


03-29-2005, 06:09 AM
Yes I am too Mikey...I think it will probably look sepia like and I think it will get tricky when I start the clothing...don't know whether paynes grey will work? to link in with the tie...or go for the golds and change the tie to browns...mmm I suppose I'll just go with the flow...
cheers kim

03-29-2005, 06:57 AM
Hi Kim, if we go with the flow it always seems to be right. My mistake is often going with the flow, then trying to improve things.


03-29-2005, 08:02 AM
I also like the gold Kim. They look as if they live in the sun.

Anita Murphy
03-29-2005, 08:39 AM
Kim - I haven't seen my son/model for 8 months so loathe to use my time with him painting so I am going to rely on photographs to paint after he leaves next week.
This is going to be stunning - every time I look I am amazed - I would have to stop where you are now in case next brushstroke ruined the whole thing!

03-29-2005, 11:21 AM
Sigh ................ wish I was in your classes ............ :angel:

03-29-2005, 04:31 PM
Thanks Mikey...Phantom....KA and Gilberte...will be working on Alexander's arm and hands today...

03-29-2005, 04:58 PM
This is so STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL. Is that English ?
Anyway, you know what I mean.
I do not have much time to check all the threads that I would like to but I knew that this one would be incredible.
Kim, I sincerely love your work. Your children are very very beautiful.
You are so talented. I'm not so good with words (especially in English), but try to feel how I'm feeling. Love your work.

Cheers Linda :D

03-30-2005, 04:49 AM
Hey Kim, Dropping in and I just fell of my chair up here....thump.
This is truly smashing and I am just loving how you are painting Charlotte and Alexander. :clap: From the hair, to flesh tones and oohhh that gold, It is is just so original and breathtaking.
I am learning so much too in this thread and I appreciate you sharing the building of your masterpiece with us. :D
Hope you are feeling better. ;) I too, have a little cold..sniff sniff. Was about 25 in Verbier and now back in Copenhagen I am freezing my a$$ off with a 8-9 over here.... LOL
Anxious to see more posts. Have a great day! :wave:

03-30-2005, 08:19 AM
Hi GUYS...sorry I couldn't talk as I had to go to the doctors....feel a bit better now!! :D

Mikey...still debating those colours but I think the blues might win...if not I can always paint over it.. :evil:
Phantom...they enjoy the sun as much as the water...we go through lots of suncream... :cool:
KA..... I'm glad your enjoying the time with your son...I'm looking forward to seeing your progress when you do start.. :)
Gilberte...a few of my friends have asked me to take art classes...if only there was more time..sigh... ;)
Linda...thankyou......your heartfelt comments are appreciated very much.. :angel:
Lisa...thankyou .... aaaand......welcome back!!!!! :clap: Did you have a grand holiday???..no broken legs... :cat: make sure you stay warm...it sounds too too cold.... lol...freezing your $$$ off.... :D
cheers kim

still have a bit to go on Alexander's arms and hands.....

03-31-2005, 07:21 AM
Hi guys...next stage
Think I'll start on the tie tomorrow...
cheers kim

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Mar-2005/54304-dee.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Mar-2005/54304-crop.JPG

Anita Murphy
03-31-2005, 08:20 AM
Every day I sit here in amazement as I watch this unfold.

03-31-2005, 08:30 AM
Kim, I'm just joining KA to cheer you on from the sidelines. This is looking so very good.


03-31-2005, 11:21 AM
Can't wait to see what your palette is going to be ...

03-31-2005, 10:39 PM
Alexander's hands look very good Kim.

04-01-2005, 03:05 AM
Hey Kim, I am always anxious to log on and see more of your work....Looking super. Bravo job on the hand. I am anxious to see more....
Cheers !

04-01-2005, 03:53 AM
Hello guys...thanks for dropping by...coffee tea ...a glass of wine?? :D... KA? Mikey? Giberte?, Phantom? and Lisa?
Have been busy today ...got the self portrait series back today from the framers...will post that in my WIP thread....doing the invites for the showing ...ya all invited of course...hope you can get plane tickets... :D
Here's where I'm up to with the kids....using pthaltho blue and zinc white...also touching up the faces...Charlottes face is still coming out quite dark... :confused: ..have added a bit of raw sienna on the faces...
What do you think of the blue???
cheers kim


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2005/54304-CHARLIE_1.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2005/54304-AL_1.JPGhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2005/54304-AL_HANDS_1.JPG
oops lost the right side of Alexanders nose... :eek: funny you don't notice these things until you see it on the monitor...ah what would we do without our computers???...and you terrific friends...keeping me on my toes... :wave:

04-01-2005, 04:56 AM
Hi Kim! You have been a busy beaver! WOW, I absolutely love that blue, and the different tones and shapes. Love the raw sienna touch. I dont know, but I dont see anything wrong with the nose...LOL :).
The background is amazing..Like the colour and brush strokes..
Morning here, having some coffee. Would rather have a glass of wine though with you and see that gorgeous painting in real life!

04-01-2005, 05:50 AM
Hi Lisa...LOL....his right nostril has faded away....too much burnt umber......no I think it was raw sienna?....evening here...and I'm having a red.... :D :p
cheers kim

Anita Murphy
04-01-2005, 08:34 AM
The blue adds wonderful contrast. Nose doesn't worry me either.
I love the composition - it hadn't struck me as much till now. Technical question - I seem to be asking everyone this at the moment - I noticed that you started lightening up the background - how do you manage to keep your subject so crisp when leaving the background till last? If I do that it all just goes yukky.

04-01-2005, 11:10 AM
No problem with Alexander's nose here Kim as he's looking right over my shoulder ...
I see your drawing lines disappear as you go along or can you still see them in order to guide you ?

23°C on April 1st here in Antwerp ... quite exceptional :wave:

04-01-2005, 04:48 PM
The background and the blue are really complimenting each other. What colours are you using in the background? I didn't notice Alexander's nose either.

04-01-2005, 05:02 PM

You are doing remarkably well with this reference photo. I am wondering if Charlotte's right cheek (her right) should be more like Alexander's. Is that red you see there in the reference photo shadow, or not? Anyhow the character of both these children is coming on wonderfully.


04-01-2005, 08:19 PM
Hi everyone..
KA....thankyou.....I always leave my background until the end because I never know what will work...I use a 1 inch house paintbrush and I try to do as many of the edges with that and a little flat brush for the tiny areas...I very rarely overlap the figures and the background which can sometimes give a cut out effect....I suppose it depends on the initial wash that I use...I'm very happy with the Australian gold as it does not jump out at all..
Gilberte...lucky you....it must be spring there....we're in autumn here....24o...my drawing lines always guide me as I think I'm more of a drawer than a painter...it takes a few layers to paint them out but some I draw back in with a paintbrush because I like the effect of lines... :eek: ...my past art teachers would be growling now :mad: a lot of them believe that as soon as you put a line in you must then work very hard at making it disappear...but then I like breaking the rules... :evil:
Phantom...thankyou...the blue is phthalo...spelt it wrong before....the background is zinc white with yellow ochre and a touch of Australian gold and wax medium
Mikey....thankyou.....you have hit the nail on the head with Charlottes cheek...couldn't quite work out where I was going wrong....might put some Australian gold back into her face as I think I've got too much burnt umber which can get a bit pink...I'm trying to avoid the reds as they don't work for me in portraits..I think I'm getting their character....they tell me I've given them "zoolander" looks... :D
cheers kim

04-02-2005, 02:18 AM
Hi Kim, I certainly do appreciate the nature of the problem here. The central light is causing the shadows to spread out left and right, top and bottom, so the tops of the cheeks are in shadow, whereas we would normally expect highlights. I think a little bit of licence in that particular case would help.


04-02-2005, 06:37 AM
Thanks Mikey for the tips...it certainly helps to get another perspective....have worked on the face today....
cheers kim

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Apr-2005/54304-al_and_charlie_2.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Apr-2005/54304-charlie_crop_2.JPG
just noticed the area over her left cheek bone looks a bit fluffy...not enough structure....

04-02-2005, 04:17 PM
Thankyou for answering my question on the sky. The painting is looking wonderful.

04-02-2005, 07:23 PM
Hi Kim, I think you are losing that piece of bone between nose and the eye socket which is noticably present in Alexander's case. I'm referring to their right eyes.


04-02-2005, 07:50 PM
Is this slight retouch any better Kim?



04-02-2005, 09:15 PM
Hi Mikey.....spot on... :clap: ...thankyou for taking the time and adjusting....I think the problem started when I decided where I was bringing the light source from...you have explained that very clearly...for me...been so busy today...off to Sydney with Alexander for State Swimming tomorrow...and finishing off the invites for the showing next week...phew and I would like to have this portrait finished for Saturday as well...I think I might introduce some paynes grey into the white...oh well...still have a few hours tonight!! :D
Hi Phantom...thankyou for your comments and for calling by... :)
cheers kim

04-03-2005, 06:20 AM
Have adjusted the nose (thanks again Mikey) and introduced the paynes grey....sorry about the glare...paint wet...
cheers kim

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Apr-2005/54304-AL_AND_CHARLIE_3.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Apr-2005/54304-CHARLIE_CROP_3.JPG

04-03-2005, 06:35 AM
It's looking good now Kim and I like the white shirt.


04-03-2005, 02:38 PM
Just magnifique.
Is that only one layer of white over the ochre ? (the shirt I mean) ...

04-04-2005, 02:49 AM
Hey Kim, Hope you had a great weekend..Your painting looks super.
Love that white shirt. So crisp..I love the different shades in there. :clap:

04-04-2005, 08:22 AM
Kim, Charlottes shirt looks :clap:

Anita Murphy
04-04-2005, 09:05 AM
I sit back in wonder! Shirt is crisp crisp crisp!

04-04-2005, 10:14 AM
Hi Mikey,Gilberte, Lisa, Phantom and Ka.....just got back from the swimming...Alexander came 9th in the state in his race...we had to stay for the final...last race of the day... :eek: (btw 9's my lucky no).. :D
Thanks everyone.... for your comments on the shirt...never painted so much shirt in my life so I'm glad I'm going in the right direction...
Gilberte..... I'm aiming on building this up in multiple layers because of the paynes grey...trying to look at it tonally and am using the black and white photo as reference...I don't know whether you can see a darkish line sweeping across from Charlotte's tie across Alexander's waist and trousers? I was thinking of slightly darkening the entire area under that line to make an imaginary shadow...but I'll wait and see ....will finish Alexander's trousers first
lol ....Lisa and Ka...I'm glad you like the crispness as I'm a terrible ironer (this is how I'd like to iron)......the truth is I don't iron...I 'd much rather paint..:D
Mikey and Phantom...I'm happy you like the shirt too..... :) :)
cheers kim

04-04-2005, 12:47 PM
Yes Kim, I found the line you mentioned. Good info from you ... always !
Keep painting lady ! ... ironing ? The most boring job for me as well :D Does Alexander swim in that beautiful lake as well ? Hoho, we're almost chatting ... hope we're not getting into trouble :wave:

04-05-2005, 08:19 AM
Hi GUYS...Hope you had a good weekend!!!
Ho Ho Giberte ...yes they both do....we just have to watch out for sharks... :D
FINALLY got all the canvas covered...lots of fine tuning now...more contrast in the white...Alexanders torso and back arm needs darkening...oh and toooo many things too mention.... :D
cheers kim

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Apr-2005/54304-al_and_charlie_5.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Apr-2005/54304-al_5_crop.JPG

Anita Murphy
04-05-2005, 08:22 AM
Awestruck - totally!

04-05-2005, 08:26 AM
Kim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!STANDING UP here Cheering! :clap: :clap: WOW the pants look super and the shirt is done...I Love them. This is completely outstanding..Looks finished to me...I cant wait to see all your little fine tuning done! You are my HERO! C & A must be so thrilled with this!
Have a great night, You deserve it!! :wave: Must be happy hour over there now :)

04-05-2005, 08:59 AM
Hi KA....thankyou .... popped over to Acrylics and saw your work....you have to start a portrait over here so we don't have to travel so far... :D ...your painting is ... :clap:
Hi Lisa...thankyou...for the ovation.... :D ....I'll hopefully finish by Friday for the showing...happy hours over here...lol...it's 11 pm...but I had a few earlier
... :p
cheers kim

04-05-2005, 04:17 PM
:::::::::::::::Quietly watching from the corner, enjoying every minute :::::::

04-05-2005, 08:02 PM
I am in the other corner, very quiet and admiring....... :eek:

04-05-2005, 09:20 PM

04-06-2005, 01:46 AM
Hi Kathleen...Linda...and Phantom....I hope you are all comfortable....there are plenty of seats down the front.... :D

Well I've put it up on the mantlepiece....the canvas is a bit warped....needs to be backed and I think a big white french provincial frame would look nice on it.....oh well it can go up as is on Saturday....as I still have to pay out a small fortune to transport my archibald entry to Sydney next Thursday..still have some highlights to put in their hair....can you see anything that stands out???? as not right???
cheers kim



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Apr-2005/54304-CHARLIE_CROP_6.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Apr-2005/54304-AL_CROP_6.JPG

04-06-2005, 02:20 AM
Hi Kim! Bravo :clap: :clap: :clap: Excellent work! Beautiful painting.
I see nothing the stands out except perfection... ;)

This will look so beautiful in a big french Frame! I agree.
For sure it can stand up as is on the mantle..Looks Grand
I am so happy that you will also have this one and your dad's portrait to display at your opening in your lovely backyard. That will be such an extra treat for your guests. :wave:
I can imagine that the transport costs to Sydney will be costly... :crying: But worth it...Cause your chance to win are way up there! I want you to win so much! win win win :music:

04-06-2005, 02:41 AM
Thankyou so very much...Lisa.....(a BIG hug to you)....I'm sure I wouldn't have got it finished this week except for you and the mates in here ....oh well.... will have a chardonay (happy hour here now ...5pm)...and think about my next one....been inspired by Kathleen a nd Gilberte to paint a nude...maybe slightly abstract.... :D :wave: :D
cheers and hoo roo kim

Anita Murphy
04-06-2005, 07:42 AM
Kim - it is really wonderful :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: Cannot see anything that needs any attention at all. How about coming to Mexico and giving some lessons?????????????? :wink2:

04-06-2005, 08:43 AM
LOL...KA....I really don't think you need any lessons.... :D ....thankyou for all your encouragement and support.... :clap:
cheers kim

04-06-2005, 09:16 AM
Could you then come up to Québec ?? I have Chardonnay and Merlot. After a day's work we could relax. :wink2:

Seriously (hate that word), this is extraordinary :clap: I consider myself so lucky to be a part of this WIP. Learned a lot. Thanks :wave:

04-07-2005, 02:48 AM
Superb portrait Kim. I think I will have a glass of champaigne. Cheers :clap:

04-07-2005, 06:42 AM
Hi Guys...
LOL....Linda!!!...I'd love to come over and join you....(seriously... :D my 2 favourite wines....but do you have vegemite???)...have never been to Canada but I've heard it's beautiful!!...Thankyou for your support and wonderful enthusiasm.... :clap:
Hi Phantom....Thankyou....I appreciate your comments and visits so much.... :clap: ...and CHEERS!!!.........Is it Dom or Taitinger??? :D ...

I am going to leave the portrait to simmer until next week ...am thinking of posting in OC then maybe I can put their first portraits in too (the ones I painted when they were infants....oh it seems like only yesterday.... :D :D )
cheers kim

Anita Murphy
04-07-2005, 09:37 AM
Make the most of it Kim - they will be grown up and flown from the nest before you know it!
Looking forward to seeing first portraits too.

04-08-2005, 12:02 AM
Hi KA ...yes they grow up so fast.....I have to take the photos of first portraits this weekend ....after the party.......so good to see you have started your portrait...
cheers kim

04-17-2005, 12:04 PM
I'm not sure how I ended up here but ...boy am I glad I did!
This is fantastic!!! :clap:

04-18-2005, 02:56 AM
Hi Nitsa...thanks for dropping by ...and thanks for your comment...
cheers kim