Everyone’s A Critic

My Step-daughter’s eldest boy was distinctly despondent that I’d painted his baby brother’s portrait before doing one of him – so I’ve taken the step towards getting back in his favour – although I doubt a four-year-old would appreciate the loose painting technique used here.

An initial sketch (see bottom of page) is usually best practice to familiarise myself with the features of the subject.


In order to obtain some kind of likeness to the subject, the first details of my focus are always the eyes, lips and nose, painted with fine brushes.


Squinty eyes and flat brushes were used to block in the darkest values, using plenty of water.  Once dry, the lighter washes were blocked in, leaving the lightest areas untouched.

Finally, using a higher ratio of pigment to water, I went back to re-establish some of the darkest values.  I probably shouldn’t divulge the fact that his face was very red in the photograph due to a recent bout of tears, abruptly halted with the appearance of a chocolate pudding.

The resemblance isn’t quite as close as aimed for, so aspiring to meet with the high expectations of a four-year-old lad is sufficient motivation to do it one more time.  Watch this space.


4 thoughts on “Everyone’s A Critic

  1. Wow! Just wow! I love the looseness of his portrait while keeping the details of the face detailed and beautiful. He’s a handsome kid, made more handsome by your beautiful artist’s talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you Carol! I’ll admit to being pleased with it as a painting – prefer this to the “realism” of the previous child portrait. Yes, he does have a lovely face, but then I’m biased.


  3. So wonderful to see the progression as you build up your stepgrandson’s portrait. Obviously a supply of chocolate pudding needs to be in every artist’s kitbag! A gorgeous portrait: I love all of it but you’ve made his eyes absolutely mesmerising.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always carry a supply of chocolate…for myself! Thanks for the kind words Rosemary, the eyes are the first and most important thing I paint. When shown this , mercifully, my step-grandson was delighted with it and was really impressed that there were “three Percys” – so that’s all that matters.


Comments are closed.