My first Portrait process


Earlier in the year I took part in my very first portrait prize competition that was held at the Burra Art Gallery, a lovely little gallery that is not far from my home town.I didn't win anything but that's ok, it was more about putting myself out there and having a go.

I am certainly not an expert on portrait painting, so I was very nervous about whether what I was doing was 'portraity' (yes i know not a real world) enough but I thought I would share with you all how my portrait process started and what the final result was.


First of all I had to pick a subject to paint and seeing as how one of my favorite things to paint is girls, I thought my 7 year old niece,  Mila, who lives in Sydney, would be the perfect subject. My niece is a naturally beautiful girl, who knows her own skin. Mila, is smart and loves to take part in adult conversation but she still holds on tightly to the innocence of her childhood favorite blankie and teddy bear. These are the elements I wanted to capture in my painting.

When I first started the portrait painting process, I was trying to be really structured and I even got the ruler out to try and measure her facial features...This was my first attempt... I wasn't happy.

the portrait process

The Second attempt was by photo transfer onto canvas and then defining her features.... I again wasn't happy.

the portrait process

My Third attempt was to not be so rigid with my sketching of Mila. Instead of measuring I just sketched from what I saw and drew Milas' face from the lessons I had learn't.  I sketched what I knew that I was good at, those big headed girls with beautiful big dancing eyes and freckles on her skin.

the portrait process I was really happy with how my Portrait painting turned out and I could see Mila in the painting. I hope Mila likes her painting and continues to see the natural beauty and innocence that lies within her for years to come.

the portrait process

Jess x