View Full Version : Best Buddies: A Commission WIP

09-11-2005, 11:03 AM
I finally got this to scan correctly so here goes!
This is a commssion for a friend of mine. It's her nephews and she hopes she can give it to her sister for her 40th birthday present.
Here is the reference:

I used a grid to get the pencil drawing, then using Genna's March portrait classroom as inspiration, I did a purple underpainting. (M.Graham Diox purple, with a touch of W&N yellow ochre). I couldn't stand the blank eyes (they freak me out!) So put in irises. :D
Already after scanning I see something that needs fixing. On the little guy's cheek (our left side) I've left a white spot under it that needs to be in shadow. And I already know I have to fix his teeth! :rolleyes:

I'd appreciate your help, so if you see anything glaringly wrong, please speak up!! :D

Will be back later with more hopefully!


mr sandbanx
09-11-2005, 11:50 AM
Cool Patty, I have no clue how to do portraits, two would overwhelm me...

I will watch and learn though. Thanks for doing this.


09-11-2005, 12:14 PM
No problem Chris, thanks for looking!!

09-11-2005, 12:20 PM
Looks like a good start Patty! :clap:
Only suggestion is to think about the background while you are working...and another thought is putting in a suggestion of a chair...(not like the one in the photo..it hits their heads at an awkward place) ....but the little guy is on the older one's lap right? or at least on his hip....and it looks like they are leaning back....without a suggestion of a chair or some support...it might feel "funny" because they'd be leaning on air....


09-11-2005, 12:29 PM
Good suggestions Lauren, thanks! The background...yes I must think about that! LOL
I like the chair idea.

Strawberry Wine
09-11-2005, 01:02 PM
It's looking good Patty!!! I agree with Lauren about thinking about the background.

I am wondering about that knee in the bottom viewers left ??? As it is coming directly out of the corner, it may pull the eye there??? Thinking maybe get rid of the knee and change the angle on the young ones arm. I see now that you have already added purple in that area...... Hmmm, I would PM Genna, Sandy or Char or all three and ask them to take a peek, as I am not a portrait artist.



09-11-2005, 01:45 PM
Thanks Gail! For now I'll leave the knee in, as you say, I've already added the purple there. I think the final will be cropped a bit from the right. I think I'll put a suggestion of the chair arm under the little guys arm and one on the right to balance.

09-11-2005, 05:01 PM
Here is is now:
I've put on a few washes of skin tones. (Rose madder, yellow ochre, touch of burnt sienna). I've also put in a light wash on the hair, and have masked out some highlights, and some of the little guy's whispy hairs. I put in the beginning of a background and the suggestion of a chair..
Also I've worked some more on the little one's mouth and teeth. I cheated and used some white for the teeth, as I didn't want to scrub!

I think they'll look much better with eyebrows and hair! LOL


09-11-2005, 05:33 PM
Patty this looks like it's coming along just great! I did my one and only portrait painting from taking Genna's class and she is a great teacher. I need to refresh my memory on it though. Your painting looks fabulous and you have definitely captured the two little boy's personalities. :clap: :clap:

09-11-2005, 05:34 PM
Girl, you're already FAR beyond anything that I could accomplish. This is just super! :clap:

I admire people who can do these, and do them well. I try to put too much color in at once, too much contrast. So, I will learn something as you go along. And I just might click on *mentor* for you! ;) :)

OK....where did they go? One day they are here, the next day they are gone. :(

09-11-2005, 05:53 PM
Patty, you're right Genna is a great teacher! Thanks for looking and your nice comments!

Becky, I'm learning as I go along too! I haven't done many portraits, and since this is for a friend, I really feel like I need to get a good likeness...so I'm going slow on this one. Plus, I'm just the opposite of you, I tend to not put enough colour and contrast in, so will have to work at getting that here.

I think I'll take a break from this today, and I have to work next week, but will try to get more done to post before the weekend.
Thanks again!


Strawberry Wine
09-11-2005, 07:33 PM
Patty, at this point the knee is not causing the concern as I thought it might. If it does you could wash it and fade it back as it comes closer to the corner.

Waiting and watching, this is going to be soooooo goood.



09-11-2005, 08:07 PM
Thanks Gail!

09-11-2005, 08:33 PM
Looking great Paddy!!! I think staying light at this stage is a good idea until you can see that the features are righ, apart from that, light is beautiful too and your paintings are a perfect example!!!

09-11-2005, 10:38 PM
Hi Patty... Awwwhhh... two little huggables... :D Your friend will be thrilled with this... you have their likenesses... if your drawing isn't correct, there's no sense in even starting with your pigments... So, you have a really good start... Your underpainting is good... nice structure in their faces...

I like the chair you've added... I was inclined to agree with Gail about the knee... but, if you keep the edges soft, it shouldn't really be a problem...

Get a proxa brush... no muss, no fuss, no bother... it won't hurt your paper and will gently scrub to white paper... even tiny areas...

09-12-2005, 06:26 AM
Looks just super Patty!


09-12-2005, 06:54 AM
Thanks, Uschi! Yes, I have to be really careful too not go too dark, as I want to capture that YOUNG skin!!

Char, thanks for taking a look. They are adorable aren't they? :) I do have a proxa brush, and I'm not afraid to use it! LOL (Exept where I was having trouble with his teeth...I kept messing it up more...)

Will be back later


09-12-2005, 08:50 AM
Wonderful job, Patty!! Your chair is good because I didn't notice it! :D :D

09-13-2005, 07:23 AM
Here's a small update. Haven't had a lot of time or energy to work on this, but have done a bit yesterday morning and today before I go to work.
I've been adding more fleshtones, particularly rose to the little one. I've also added a bit of UB to some shadow areas. I've worked a bit more on his eyes and nose, and showed a bit of hair and one eyebrow. The hair will be yellow ochre and burnt umber in varying degrees.
Sorry for the poor scan quality....note to self: buy batteries for camera!!
Thanks for looking! :D


09-13-2005, 09:20 AM
Wow Patty!! This is just coming along super! :clap:

09-13-2005, 03:40 PM
Patty, you are so brave to take on a double portrait. This is looking really good.

Strawberry Wine
09-13-2005, 04:58 PM
Patty, this is looking so so good. And I think you have the knee working just fine.

Maybe time to do a bit on the clothes and adjust the skin tones after. You are getting so close with the young ones skin.



09-14-2005, 07:04 AM
Thanks Becky and Lois! :)

Gail, you're right about the clothes, I'll probably work on them next.
Don't think I'll get anything done on it today, but the weekend's coming up soon!!


09-14-2005, 11:01 AM
Patty it's looking GREAT so far. This pic is so CUTE!! They seem to really love each other. Your BG is looking great too.

09-14-2005, 01:22 PM
Patty this is going just wonderfully well. Love the skin tones and the mouth on the little guy, it is almost perfect. You have also captured the looks in their eyes. The only nit I can see right now is the older guy's right side of his mouth where his teeth are. I think you have put in too many teeth and it makes him look a bit older than he really is. Other than that it is coming along fantastically. Will check back later.

09-15-2005, 07:37 AM
Ollie, thanks! Yes, I think these guys really are best buddies!

Judy, I definitely haven't finished with the older one's mouth, and haven't even started on his teeth yet, so you're right! :)

No updates today...sorry guys, just too much going on at work and stuff. Will go at it again this weekend for sure!


09-16-2005, 09:05 AM
Well finially..........It took nearly 5 minutes for this page to open :mad: But it was worth it.

Looking awesome so far...

09-16-2005, 09:16 AM
Patty. this is looking great..........for some reason I only got the first few posts.......... not even step 2 . when I oipened the thread........ so went off to play with an idea to solve the potential background/knee problem. but I see now It probably wont be needed.......... but on the waste not want not principle, it was to do a tightish crop like this


might come in useful some other time :)

09-16-2005, 10:27 AM
Those are some cute kids Patty...has to make the job more fun! Looks fantastic so far, and if it were mine, I'd almost be done! ;)
I keep forgetting about these other forums, will come back more often...you're on a roll here :clap:

09-17-2005, 10:03 AM
JJ, thanks for being so patient! Glad you stopped by! :)

Thanks JT, I think I'll leave the crop or not to crop question up to my client. But I thank you for taking the time to demonstrate! :)

Thanks Nick, they are cute kids. I've never met them, but feel like I know them as my friend is a VERY proud aunt, and doesn't have children of her own, so tells many cute and funny stories about these two. I'm also getting to know them very well through painting them! I'm glad you ventured into this forum. :D I'm gonna get some more work done on them today.


09-17-2005, 09:11 PM
Okay, here's where I am now:
I did some more skin tones on the older boy, worked on his teeth and mouth. Put a light wash on the clothes. The little guys shirt looks green with this scan, but is actually a blue-grey. Put another wash on the background, and did some work on the hair.

Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now! :)


09-18-2005, 11:41 AM
Well, I think I'm about done now!
Let me know if you see anything really wrong okay?


I'm just afraid to do too much more to this for fear of overworking it....


09-18-2005, 11:45 AM
They positively twinkle with energy:D well done

My only nit would be to think about softening the very dark hairline of the older boy.......... in such an expertly high-key painting it sticks out a bit (at least on my screen - which Ive just adjusted to a proper greyscale !!!!!)

09-18-2005, 11:58 AM
Thanks JT....The older boy has quite a cowlick in the front and I was trying to get that right...so you think it's too dark?
I've lightened it a bit now, I'll post in a bit...

09-18-2005, 12:21 PM
Okay here it is with the cowlick lightened just a tad. Also here is a closeup of both boys.
Well darn, the uploader is not working for me! :mad:

I'll try to attach...well that's not working either. I'll be back!


09-18-2005, 05:48 PM
Okay, one more try!




There we go!
Okay, I think I'll post this in the gallery now, thanks everyone for their input!'