I spend a lot of time looking at faces and it's a privilege to be able to spend time studying the face of someone I love by painting from their photograph. It's certainly less stressful and intense than doing an actual portrait sitting, but I'm working up to that. While this isn't an exact likeness, I feel like I captured her amazing smile and joy, as well as her childlike openness to life. I like the looseness of how I painted her shirt and the background, and am hoping to eventually get to that level of freedom with the face.
I'm still grappling with the warms and cools of skin tones, the underlying structure of the bones and muscles, getting the eyeballs round enough, the mouth curved, keeping highlights that are not stark white. So it's a little overdone, but I can see that I'm learning a lot.
I am always available as a model, and while this isn't a flattering self-portrait, it's how I feel I look when I'm tired or anxious.
This is hopefully the beginning of a wonderful journey into portraiture, something I have always wanted to do.