Saturday, November 26, 2011

A New Project

This is Jordan. I've drawn him, before on this blog - as a newborn and, also, as an 11 month old baby. In this photo, he is about 20 months old and he's grown into a very active toddler.

This time, the quality of the photo isn't too bad. I can see quite a lot of detail and I have the great advantage of having my subject close at hand, in real life. I know his little face like the back of my hand. In fact, this is how I can tell that the mouth isn't quite right.

A photo shouldn't lie but, in reality, it often does. Jordan was pursing his lips in an uncharacteristic expression, in this shot. The result is that his mouth looks smaller than it really is. So, I had to make a decision - was the photo worth using? Especially, as my subject was readily available to sit for another photo? If I hadn't been so familiar with his face, I would have said 'no.' But, as it is, I'm quite confident that I can improve the likeness with my real life observations - and I like the photo, so I'll go ahead.

The other reason for persevering with this picture is that good photos of toddlers are hard to come by. Little people rarely stay still, for a moment - and, this particular toddler is especially active. I have a great many photos of the back, top and sides of his head. We, even, have photos of him sleeping and, by contrast, snapshots of him blurring, in rapid motion, through the picture frame. But, a photo of him looking candidly at the camera is like gold dust.

Why I would want him looking at the camera is a further point of interest. Normally, I don't like my subjects to be staring at the camera, in what I see as an unnatural pose. I prefer them to be engaged in a characteristic activity or contemplation. This time, however, I was interested in a study of the eye - partly, as a step-by-step tutorial and, partly, because the big, wide eyes of infants are delightful to observe and equally delightful to depict in coloured pencil.

I'm really looking forward to doing this portrait of one of my little guys!


  1. Joel looks so beautiful in this photo. I can only imagine what the finished portrait will look like.

  2. Oh, thank you, Immy! It really helps to feel encouraged.

    This one is Jordan - though, he and Joel do look alike. I am still trying to catch Joel in a good pose so that I can replace the portrait of him that I sold.

    I appreciate your comment, Immy:)

  3. Do you like the dirty face, Immy? The beauty of artistic licence - I can turn him into a pink, scrub-faced angel, despite the fact that he's only ever dirty, battered and grazed in real life. Mustn't go too far, though, or he'll look like someone else's child!

  4. Jordan is adorable, Vicky. Toddlers almost always have dirty faces and that's the way it should be :)

  5. Thank you, Mary. You're right - a dirty toddler is a happy toddler, I guess!:)


Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate your comments and feedback. Vicky