Monday, June 29, 2009

Brother and sister

Big brother, little sister
acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
(Painting this I loved the
expression on the little girl's
face, and all the small
details that are so characteristic
of what young boys like --
Super Mario T-shirts, camp
necklaces, big, clunky black
watches -- it made me miss
my sons as small boys.)

I got up early this morning to finish this painting of a
brother and sister. The painting had to be done for a
party this afternoon because it was the special gift.
I did most of it from photo reference, although
everything but the children has been changed.

The challenge in doing portraits from photos, as you
know, is to get a faithful likeness and produce
a painting that looks like you painted it. I'm not a
photo realist, so this is as real as I get. I felt like it
worked and was a nice combination of faithful
likeness and fresh colour and design.

The client was very pleased, and I hope the childrens'
grandmother, who was receiving it as a surprise gift
today, will be equally happy. I had to hurry home and miss
the party, because another client was arriving, and
was going to sit for me. It was a full day of painting,
and I've decided to take the night off. Got to go now to
watch Jon Stewart. Enjoy your evening.

Have a loving-the-people-you-work-with day.


Edgar said...

I know what you mean: that painted-from-a-photo stiffness is the bear that stands in the path of creativity. You definitely kept it fresh, Barbara. Nicely done.

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Edgar,

I'm glad it stayed lively. The trick seems to be to feel as if you're there. Plus I met these two on Skype, which made them real for me.

Take care,


Gwen Bell said...

Great job, Barbara! These two look so bright and lively. Love the pose. The brother looks lovingly protective and the little sister so trusting. The highlights on their faces give them a "painted from life" freshness. Like the way you chose to incorporate those leaves in the background again...or maybe they were already in the reference. Whichever, it works!

Melinda said...

This is wonderful, Barbara!! You are really working with such dedication and great color. I'm sure the family is just thrilled with this painting.

Well done!!!

Liza Hirst said...

Lovely! Very lively - not at all as from a photo!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Gwen,

Thanks so much. I did decide to incorporate the leaves again. Sometimes one painting teaches you something you can use in the next one.
The children were on a brown leather couch, with a band of white light at the top. I changed all that to fit in with my style, and colours.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I'm so glad you like it. I am working pretty hard, but I am also learning so much. I love that. You are so sweet.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

Thank you. I'm glad you like it, and think it works. I was happy with it, and keep my fingers crossed that the family likes it. You know how that is!


Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!