By Kate Bradley 1 July 2013, 9:51AM
My studio was crowded yesterday. I’m working on two portraits of twin boys, John and Henry. Their mom, Katherine, her husband, her sister, her niece, and the boys came to my studio to see the proposals, which are small studies in oil that become the basis for the portrait. Before I begin work on the actual canvas, I want my clients to be happy and excited about where the portrait is going. I want them to be involved in the creative process.
I often ask clients to bring friends and family members to my studio. It’s such a fun moment because it’s when the client can really envision the portrait for the first time. Before that, it’s just talk.
This particular commission was really fun for me. I love doing individual portraits because I can really develop the personality of the child and use the background to reflect that. It's part of the value I offer to collectors: painting children engaged in their passions. John likes sports and outdoor activities; Henry likes to read and draw.
For John’s, I was really drawn to the beautiful light filtering through the trees and the relaxed pose. This one is going to be so fun to paint.
I am equally excited about Henry’s. He is holding one of his favorite books, which he told me all about during our time together. I used cools blues, purples and grays as my primary color palette with the contrasting pops of orange and red. I incorporated one of their existing art pieces to frame Henry’s head and make the composition more interesting.
Katherine told me that art means a lot to her family. In her words, she would rather keep driving her car for a few more years so she could buy meaningful art. It made me feel honored and privileged to help them add meaning and joy to their lives by painting their children.
And it's always great to have a little play time. Here are the kids comparing their "actual size" to their "portrait size!"