When my son was around three years old, I did this portrait of him titled ‘The Artist’s Son’.

Five years later, when my older daughter was around three years old, I painted this portrait of her titled ‘Pandora’s Box of Crayons’.

Now another five years have passed, and my youngest daughter is almost three… so it’s her turn.

Working with kids as models can be tricky. The fact that I work from photographic reference material helps, to be sure, (I can only imagine how much harder it would be to paint a three year old from life!) but getting a good, spontaneous, and natural looking pose still takes time, patience, and sometimes a little pure opportunism. This pose is the result of the latter, but I’m really glad I got it. It captures her personality perfectly.

As usual, I started by doing a careful, to-scale drawing, which I then transferred to an 18 x 30 inch panel:

Off and on over the past few weeks, and in between working on building and prepping the panel for the upcoming Icarus/Daedalus commission, I’ve been working on completing a monochrome underpainting:

And here is the under-painting a little further along (it looks a little less weird with the hands painted):

This portrait, along with a few other smaller pieces that have been on the back burner far too long will be perfect for filling in spare hours of work time while I complete the large Icarus/Daedalus piece.

I really enjoy portrait work, particularly when I can add a thematic element to the composition. If you are interested in commissioning portrait work, you can find more information here.