Man-Child: Paintings of my son at different stages of his life

I've been enjoying working on a series of portraits of my son Miles this month.

He has an interesting face to paint with his deep set eyes and intense gaze. His face has always looked older than his years and he never really had a 'baby face' when he was young. Infact he was a very strange looking baby with a full set of teeth and a full head of hair by the time he was 6 weeks old!

I find it facinating how my children evolve over the years and recently he has had such a metamorphosis that I felt the need to paint him before he loses all vestiges of his boyishness

'ManChild' - Oil on Board

There's something about drawing and painting this age group that I find really interesting - I think it's the heightened emotions and angst of the teen stage that seems to find it's way on to the canvas. It makes for a great subject matter

These 2 paintings (above and below) were taken from a video still taken last year. I like working from film footage as you can freeze frame at the exact angle you want, and it somehow adds a more filmic quality to the paintings which I like.

'Miles in Profile" Oil on paper

In "Miles in Profile" I liked the way the front of his face was away from the light casting a cool greenish shadow on his flesh tones. Because he's quite skinny I could clearly see his bone structure under the skin and the anatomy of his neck and jaw.

Looking back at past paintings he is unrecognisable from the little boy he once was (below) :(

'TigerFace' - Oil on canvas

"Miles' Stare" 2009 - Oil on canvas (2009)

These portraits (above) were painted the year he started school- he'd been through the difficult toddler phase and was at a cute age full of mischief and chatter

Nowadays he rarely speaks and it's hard to know whats going on in his head

I've noticed his face becoming more angular.

I like drawing his gangly proportions and huge hands

'Miles tapping his Hands' - Oil sketch on Board

'Beanie' - Oil sketch on board

He has taken on a different persona now with his adam's apple and long hair ..he lives in his yellow beanie !(above)

'Mad Hair' Oil on canvas (2010)

'Mad Hair Day' (above) was a painting I did of him when he sprayed his hair red for mad hair day at infant school. I liked the gothy look of him with the contrast of his pale complexion against the dark red hair.

This was a charcoal drawing of I did of him just before he went to Junior school. I wanted to get the soft, velvetyness of his cheeks- it was hard to get him to sit still long enough to get a photo, nevermind a sketch

I remember he was always leaping around with a light saber or sword in his hand at this age :)

I painted this portrait (below) just as he hit his teens. He was becoming more distant at this age and I could sense him growing apart from me. I deliberately portrayed him looking away from the viewer and wearing his headphones to add to the feeling of detachment.

'"Miles on his Phone'

I'm glad I have this gallery of paintings at different stages of his life, it brings me right back to that moment and that feeling when I look at them. A painting preserves that part of him that feels lost forever.

I wonder if one day, his great grandchildren will have these paintings of him hanging on their walls?

it's a lovely thought......

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