I am so happy to have finished this portrait of my two children. It’s 24″x24″ oil on canvas. I am especially happy since I attempted to paint my children over a year ago and found it so difficult that I set that project aside. I think painting my own children, or anyone that I know well, is challenging because it’s impossible to capture everything I know about the person in a painting. But, with that said, I’m very happy with this portrait.
Actually, my desire to paint our children started more like 10 years ago. I thought a portrait of our kids would make a nice Christmas present for my husband so I dove into the project. Well, with absolutely no training in portraiture, I found that project impossible. That’s when I started studying portraiture. We were living in Holland at the time and I studied for two years with an amazing portrait artist named Marika Bok. I would drive 20 minutes into The Hague from our tiny town on the North Sea, find a parking place, then brave the wind, sleet, and/or rain to get to Marika’s studio. Her studio was on the second floor in a 17th Century warehouse in the heart of The Hague. I would enter through two large barn-like doors into a large warehouse full of canvases and bicyles, then climb a narrow freestanding staircase to the second floor studio. She had skylights for natural light and we had a different model pose every week. Six of us drew and painted the model for 3 hours with a nice long break halfway through for hot tea and cookies. Marika spoke only Dutch but with my German language background I was able to understand most of what she was saying. And anyway, I learned by drawing and painting, not talking about it.
Below I’ve posted a couple of close-ups.