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Unveiling Portraits

I Just Want to Squeeze Him!

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I Just Want to Squeeze Him!

Charcoal portrait of child

Ari_web By Kate Bradley 4 November 2013, 8:02AM

That’s what I heard from two of my clients when I revealed the recently completed charcoal portrait of their son. They expressed how cute he looked. His mom said she wished she had gotten charcoals done of her other kids when they were young, too.

 

My clients loved the way his little hands looked, like he was nervous and shy. They said he twisted in fingers like that often.

 

Often my clients will commission a charcoal portrait when the child is young, around two or three, and an oil portrait when they are a bit older, around 4, 5, or 6. Moms tell me that they love the way they look at 2, and want to capture that time as well, without having to invest in a full-length oil. This need inspired me to offer the Legacy Collection, which is a series of three portraits at different stages in the child’s life: a small charcoal at 2, a ¾ length oil at 4, and a full-length oil at 6, or whatever ages the parents want. Because children change so much during this time, I wanted my clients to have a way to capture each moment. It’s kind of like school pictures.

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Let's Party!

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Let's Party!

4 By Kate Bradley 23 October 2013, 10:21AM

 

Last Thursday my clients Katherine and Stephen hosted a party at their house to unveil the portraits of their twin sons for the first time. Unveiling parties are the best part of the commission experience. It's just a time to gather and celebrate with family and friends. As Stephen said, it's a personal experience you don't get everyday.

 

The atmosphere was warm, fun and relaxed. No shoes, no problem. There was wine and cheese for the adults, but the biggest hit (for me at least) were the Chik-fil-a chicken nuggets.

 

After we mingled, I revealed some of the secrets of my creative process. I showed guests the proposals I created and how each one focused on portraying the individuality of the child.  Then the kids busted into the room to get more sacks.

 

Kate

 

One of the guests asked me if I paint pets, too. While I love our furry friends, I don't paint them as the subjects of portraits, only as part of the surroundings.

 

John and his portrait

 

I met the boys’ god parents, who were each partial to their godson’s portrait. Go figure.

 

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Afterwards, Stephen told me that this was a completely new experience for him. Unlike his wife, he doesn’t come from a portrait background. He said he will enjoy having the portraits as he watches his boys grow up.

It's a privilage for me to get to do the work that I do. I love being able to give people something so special that they will treasure for the rest of their lives. Or, as Katherine's mom said, the portrait is what she's grabbing if the house is on fire.

Yes!

 

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Sweet Caroline

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Sweet Caroline

charcoal drawing of child

By Kate Bradley 15 August 2013, 9:14AM  

Yesterday Chris, Kristen, and their daughters Caroline and Gracie gathered in my studio to see Caroline's charcoal portrait for the first time. If you remember, Kristen was the client I wrote about here.

I have known Chris for many years, starting back when he was a leader in my church's youth group. I love Chris and it was really fun for me to get to work with him and his family. Yesterday he was running a little late, and made us promise not to look at the portrait until he got there. While we were waiting, I asked Caroline if she was excited. She said yes. I asked her how it made her feel to have her portrait drawn. Good, she said.

When I led them back to my studio, her parents were overjoyed. Kristen told me she wouldn't stop looking at it. She was sad that she couldn't take the portrait home now because it had to go to the framer's first.

photo-28

There was a hilarious moment when Chris started talking to the portrait as if it were Caroline. Daddy, Daddy! I'm right here! Caroline would protest. Shhh, I'm talking to Caroline, Chris said.

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Later Kristen sent me this picture. It's so sweet for me because I genuinely love her and had a great time creating her portrait. I kept thinking the whole time: she looks like an angel. I love her straight eyebrows and blond curls.

I know how much Caroline likes art, she even won a contest at school, so I invited her and a friend over for a play-date at my studio. Caroline and Kristen loved the idea. Play-dates are just another way I add value to my clients' lives and continue our friendships because I truly enjoy them and their children.

 

Cheers,

Kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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