Mutant baby – My Daughter portrait work-in-progress



It seems like ages since I have done art and submitted it to my semi-regular challenges. I missed Paint Party Friday yet again this week – I work Wednesday through Friday and generally very little art gets done on those three days, so unless I did something earlier in the week, I often have nothing to share ๐Ÿ™ it takes me the weekend to start generating work.

And this week that is exactly what I’ve been doing. I drew and painted both Saturday and today and now have a new painting well underway. And this one is a real challenge for me.

For his birthday, I broke the bank (well, seriously bent it :D) and bought my long suffering hubby a fancy DSLR camera. Eighteen megapixels and tricked out with all the magic gadgets, he has been playing with it as he learns how to use it. Amongst his first attempts he took this one of my youngest daughter, Izzy…

Izzy original photo

I quite liked it and tweaked the composition.

Izzy stock photo

And started painting.

Here are some in progress shots, showing exactly how mutant my drawing/painting currently is. I’m having some confidence in myself that it will eventually emerge from mutanthood into something resembling the composition and finish in my head, but I have to say this is one heck of a challenge for me. I am, of course, doing this for several reasons, one of which is to pursue my interest in portraiture. However, baby and young child faces are notoriously hard to draw simply because of the lack of character lines to rely on. It should also be noted that apart from one brief attempt to paint a portrait in oils (mixed results) over twenty years ago, this is my first attempt at a painted portrait, most certainly in acrylics, so learning curves all over the place.

But! I am confident I can accomplish this…I hope…I think so…well, hell, I’m gonna try ๐Ÿ˜€

How on Earth am I going to do that hair?????

My daughter WIP 1

I have limited experience in painting on canvas (did my first this year, in fact)…What is traditionally used for the drawing part of a painting and why? I used pencil, but I’ve heard that charcoal is a good choice also (why?). What do you use?

My Daughter WIP 2

This is where I set myself up today in the backyard. We’ve had a couple of sunny days just recently (wonderful after the freezing cold, dark and wet days we’ve had lately) and I love to use these kind of days for painting outside.

My Daughter WIP 3

I’m never really sure where I should start a painting. I think we’re supposed to start with the background and work forward for various technical reasons, but I always end starting in the foreground and working back…at which point I remember why I’m supposed to be working back to fore. Heh, it is acrylic and I can paint over my mistakes…mostly ๐Ÿ˜€

My daughter WIP 4

And that is why I next blocked in a lot of the background, first layer only, but blocked in anyway.ย  Lots of wonky outlines and a mutant baby headshape. All these colours are first layer with the intention of glazes and other colours being added on top…hence the idea that mutant baby will eventually morph into My Daughter (my working title).

My Daughter WIP 5

And this is where I ran out of time and parental duties and evening routine stepped in. Some areas are worked up far more than others, something I tend to do. I think it is a good idea to work up the painting evenly across all areas, so the composition, proportions and colours can be worked out correctly, but again, I tend to drift off of what I’m ‘supposed to be doing’ ๐Ÿ˜€ At my own peril, of course.

There are lots of errors, the most blatant being the leg to the bottom left. That will be corrected asap…a typical perspective stuff up. Perspective is not my friend. But the mouth area is showing some promise for the future.

I will persist!

Oh, and in other news…

Sofie the Mermaid is now up on the wall in my eldest daughter’s bedroom ๐Ÿ˜€ Two layers of self-leveling gel and two layers of varnish and it was officially finished last weekend.

Mermaid on wall

It is fantastic to finally have something finished and up on a wall ๐Ÿ˜€

Best wishes,


3 responses to “Mutant baby – My Daughter portrait work-in-progress”

  1. Hey Liz, don’t be so hard on yourself! And who decides how it ‘should’ be done anyway? I’m self-taught, so have no idea about the ‘right’ way to do things and probably would cause the hair on some poor art teacher’s head to stand on end.
    Your process is your own – embrace it. Michelangelo didn’t work a block of stone the way everyone else did and his stuff came out OK ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thanks for your support, Tracy ๐Ÿ˜€ My inner critic is a force to be contended with ๐Ÿ˜€

      I like the Michaelangelo idea ๐Ÿ˜€ (I studied him in school). I’ll try to keep that in mind.

      Best wishes,

  2. […] First up I have the My Daughter painting I started on the weekend and detailed earlier in the week. […]