Updated: Sep 21
I am sometimes commissioned to paint people to mark importrant landmarks in their life and I have tried to do the same for my kids over the years. Every so often I will paint a portrait of them to punctaute different stages of their life .
I've recently finished this oil portrait of Miles to mark his leaving home for the first time. He is the last of my offspring to fly the nest so it's a particularly poignant time and the house feels eerily quiet with all the young people gone. Although I must admit the sense of loss I feel is cancelled out by the clean, tidy home that I now have and no one steeling my wine or beers!
Before I started the painting I did a drawing from a live sitting of about 20 minutes (above), which helps me think about the composition and aspects of the pose that are of interest. In this case it was his thick mane of hair and his hands which were the focal points. With his pale skin tone and wavy hair he reminded me of a Pre-Raphaelite painting of which I've been a big fan since childhood. I had the romantic portraits of Dante Gabriel Rosetti in mind while I painted him.
As always the process was a struggle- a tug of war between losing the likeness and trying to pull it back again. Although there's always room for improvement, I decided to leave the portrait at this stage, in the words of Leonardo Di Vinci - "a painting is never finished, merely abandoned."
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