Here’s the final version of Emmalie’s requested portrait!
I added color to the background with light washes, which overlapped the kids just a little and deepened the saturation.
I decided not to outline the entire work in black, but you’ll see that I did outline the outer edges of their heads and the bottom of their busts. With touches of drips and drops, the painting was complete!
I think it’ll look nice framed, with an olive green, brown, navy, or maroon matting.
Here is a close-up:
I believe he has brown eyes, but I thought it would be fun to add blue, and a tiny bit of green. They look much more blue in these photos than when viewing the painting in person.
It looks like a mess at this stage! Don’t worry, it will not look like this in the end. The colors I added will be mostly covered by more skin-tones. I thought it would be fun for you to see what a mess it looks like during the painting.
After that next layer of skin-tones…
I’m probably going to lighten the painting all around, and then finish with a wash of color- to bring the watercolor fade back to the composition. I really liked how it looked in the beginning! I want to bring that feel back at the end.
Here’s what it looked like in the beginning:
Adding more color (the greens, reds, and navys) to their faces, and then replicating the wash from the beginning will bring back that water-color style, but modernize the look. It will be less like a photograph and more like a modern painting.
After adding the wash, I might trace strategic lines in black ink. I know that sounds strange… and I don’t quite have a picture to illustrate to you what the end result will be, but I think it will look fantastic. I don’t want to paint something that anyone can reproduce. I want it to look unique.
This painting may take longer than I anticipated, but I think the end result will be worth the time.
Emmalie commissioned a special painting of her nephews, perhaps for herself or as a gift for her sister.
She really liked how I designed Diamond’s portrait, full of color:
I have decided to add the colors to “The Kids” delicately, in thin layers since they are so young; I also want to keep the painting whimsical, and layered water-colors always remind me of children’s books.
First, I will paint them in a traditional way, then I’ll add the fun strokes of color, and creative design. In the end, I want the picture’s edges to look a little “incomplete” with strokes remaining after its completed.
I started off with a wash, a technique I usually reserve for oil paintings:
The first layer:
Using light washes gives it a water-color feel.
Now’s about the time that I should add color, and all of those other really fun effects we see in Diamond’s painting. I’ll also thicken the layers.