View Full Version : A labor of love....WIP

04-21-2010, 03:53 AM
I have a dear friend.....I have known her for over 40 years....probably the longest continual friendship I have ever had. My love and prayers are with her, and her family, due to her coming down with stage 4 cancer. I had been planning this painting, for almost 2 years....waiting till I felt my skill level might be able to do it justice.

She had always wanted a portrait from her younger days....tho' believe me, she is still one beautiful lady!! Could be the Cherokee in her?

The night I found out, rather than spend hours and hours crying and feeling sorry for myself... I began....and have worked on it and tweaked it. I don't think I will ever be satisfied with it....but I don't want to overwork it (if I have not already?)

There are a number of stages where I wish I had stopped....but once you are on to a new layer....sigh..








Thank you Gayle, about the final glaze! And thanks to all who I have 'ignored' while I was working on it!

Thank you Gayle, about the final glaze! And thanks to all who I have 'ignored' while I was working on it!

Am ready for any and all C&C....I know it is not perfect...but I am not sure I will ever feel it could be.

04-21-2010, 04:12 AM
Many think she looks like a young Liz??



Not sure I put much of her in there tho'? I think Connie's eyes are rounder?

04-21-2010, 04:21 AM
Hi Susan, the portrait is gorgeous, certainly a labour of love! I really like the contrast in textures between the background and the face. It emphasizes and focuses the eye on the face.

The expression has come out beautifully, though I confess I like your 4rth WIP best. There's a dreamy quality about the eyes and a hint of a smile about the lips. In the final painting the dreaminess in the eyes is less evident compared to the 4rth WIP(on a standalone basis I can still see it though) since in the final painting the eyes are a lot more focussed and sharp when compared to the 4rth WIP. Of course, this could be just me.....

Now that I can see the reference photograph, you've captured her likeness, expression and spirit exactly so! I love it.... :thumbsup: This is a beautiful gift for her....

04-21-2010, 04:30 AM
Thanks Gopaly!!

No....I agree....but I am so afraid to keep going....:lol: I, um....errr....have been known to overwork a painting...to say the least.

04-21-2010, 08:14 AM
Hi Sue, this is wonderful and yes you have definitely leaped in your skills!
From the first to the last you still maintained "her" but in the last I think you her eyes need just a little tiny bit of tweaking, somewhere between #3 n #4..little bigger and tops brought up into the lids but oh so slightly to regain that wistful look she has in that photo.

Bravo girlfriend you can see the love and that's really the most important part the other is just an opinion easily ignored...LOL You done good!!! :heart:


04-21-2010, 08:43 AM
A beautiful labour.

04-21-2010, 09:39 AM
Beautiful portrait and it would have been difficult to go from black and white to color. You did an amazing job with that and have captured her so well. She is a beautiful woman and does have a resemblance to Liz Taylor.

This is truly a labour of love on your part and she and her family will cherish this so much.

04-21-2010, 12:44 PM
Hi Susan :heart:

You have done fine with your painting. I understand when reaching some point that you are afraid to do the next layer, because of your attachment to the model.

She is a beautiful young woman, but the reference is so flat, without shadow and dimension, you never pick an easy reference. :wink2: You had no choice in this painting, and you pulled it off anyway.

A fine work and so generous of you.

Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don't stop, it'll soon be here,
It'll be, better than before,
Yesterdays gone, yesterdays gone. :music:

Oz :)

04-21-2010, 01:10 PM
Really wonderful!

04-21-2010, 02:36 PM
Susan what a wonderful tribute to your beautiful friend and how sad this lovely person is going thru that disease, our prayers and thought are with her and you , her friend. She is a beautiful lady and you've done a very lovely portrait of her. Thanks for posting it for us to see. shrl

Charlie's Mum
04-21-2010, 04:14 PM
She surely will love it Susan!

JMO, OK? I think the upper lids could be softened a titchy bit and the (our) left of the nose from eye to nostril made less definite - that would also help give some 'roundness' and form ........ really subtle touches/blending are all that's needed .. as I say IMO only!!!! :)

You've done a magnificent job on this - you should be pleased and proud!

04-21-2010, 05:33 PM
Thank you so much Elaine....I wish I had done alot less tweaking after 3 and 4....but someone mentioned the lack of shadowing....sigh...so I jumped right in...I wish I had just worked on her eyes...they were a tad too pointy at the sides. But....one only goes forward, not backward in painting. :)

Arlene, thanks!!

Thanks, Elinor!

Oz, my dear friend!! Thank you so very much!!!

Thanks, Michelle!!!

Shrl, thank you!! Hope you and yours are still faring well!!

Thanks Maureen...that is the other part that bothered me the most.....wow must mean my eye is improving! That and the heighth of the eyes bug me the most.

That and being scared to touch it again....:lol:!!

04-21-2010, 08:42 PM
I love this so much. I can relate to what you felt. A little over a year ago my dear mother in law was battling cancer herself. I did a pencil sketch for a portrait of her, but decided (like you) to wait until my skills improved. I never could bring myself to work on it and now she is not with us anymore - she won her battle with cancer in October. One of these days I will REundertake her portrait, and I hope it turns out half as well as yours.

God bless you for touching her life, and hug your friend for all of us.

M Douglas
04-21-2010, 10:02 PM
A beautiful woman, a beautiful painting!


04-22-2010, 02:51 AM
Dan...thank you!!! Wish I could hug her....she is ovoer 800 miles away....and I just cannot get there right now...sigh!

Thanks, Melodie!!

04-22-2010, 03:17 AM
oops once was enough!

Kathrin G.
04-22-2010, 01:51 PM
oh goodness Susan, its a wonderful portrait of your friend :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

04-22-2010, 07:04 PM
Thank you, Kathrin!!!

04-22-2010, 11:24 PM
I was thinking of you just the other day and almost tempted to pm you to see if you were okay. I am so proud of you, Susan. Your skills have leaped and you have poured your heart into this painting. It is lovely and will be a treasured gift. My heart is with you as I am going through the same thing with my lovely daughter, a terminal battle with the big C. Trouble is I am not a portrait painter and my efforts did not begin to do her justice. Nevertheless, it does bring some peace to the heart in trying to put your feelings for a loved one on canvas. Congratulations on a great job. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.


04-22-2010, 11:31 PM
Beautifully done Susan!!:thumbsup:
I know she's just going to LOVE IT!!!
There is no better gift of the Heart then this, and there will be tears I'm sure.
My Prayers go out to her and her family
((HUGS to you as well))
Congrats on another fabulous portrait!!:clap: :clap:

04-23-2010, 07:28 PM
I think i's great Susan. Well done!!

04-24-2010, 12:38 AM
Thank you so very much Eloise!! Things have just been so very crazy here!!! Have been painting some....just not as much! You and your daughter are in my prayers!

Thanks Kathie and Ruthie!!

04-24-2010, 06:12 AM
Yes Susan:) She does look quite a bit like Liz! I think she is going to love your painting!

04-24-2010, 07:55 PM
Thank you Tony!! I appreciate your looking!!

04-25-2010, 02:50 PM
Looks great Susan! She really does look like Liz Taylor. Sorry for her diagnosis.

04-26-2010, 12:21 AM
beautiful work Susan, you have a beautiful heart too, bless you.

04-26-2010, 02:41 AM
Thanks Chris!! Been sitting and looking at it....trying to work up the nerve to soften the one side of her nose and work on the eyes a tiny little bit. I will do it very little bits at a time so I can wipe off what I don't like....she says with her fingers crossed!

Lulu, thank you!! Not so sure my heart is beautiful...seems pretty tarnished at times, but I appreciate that you think so!! Means alot coming from you!!