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progress shot

(Photo: studio shot of reference photo next to the painting in progress.)

I’m excited to share with you my very first custom PEOPLE PORTRAIT experience!! If you have taken a gander through my portfolio before you probably noticed that there were no portraits of people in there prior to now… and that wasn’t accidental, lol. To be totally honest, the idea of painting people has always been a bit intimidating to me. The level of detail involved, the smooth contours of the skin, creating the flesh tone colours – these are just some of the many aspects that can look very “off” in a hurry (even when they’re just a tiny bit off), and just the thought of all that seemed to push me away. I’ve painted Pet Portraits for years, Minimalist Style kids portraits even, and some Classic Cars on occasion, all of which have their own complexities, but I just still had a mental block about painting people for some reason.

BUT, when I was contacted by a client to paint a portrait of her best friend and his wife for their wedding gift, I just couldn’t resist! She’s actually the one who shot their engagement photos, and she wanted to have her favourite photo painted for them. When she sent me the picture I could totally see why she picked it, it’s truly beautiful. I loved it! At that moment, my reservations about painting people flew out the window (whether that was permanent or just temporary, only time will tell for sure haha!) and I was super excited to work on this project with her!

Here is the finished painting:

"Daydreams of Life & Love" | 11x14 | acrylic on canvas

“Daydreams of Life & Love” | 11×14 | acrylic on canvas

The reference photo itself was shot in black and white using a film camera, so not only was this my first commission of a portrait of people, it was my first fully black and white toned painting as well. And I gotta say it was lots of fun! I really love the aesthetic of it, and I plan to work on more in this vein in the future for sure.

As for the title of the painting – I’m not sure if you know this about me yet, but I have the hardest time naming my artwork haha. So I invited my client to do the honour for this piece, and she named it “Daydreams of Life & Love”, which I thought was perfectly fitting. This painting headed to Medicine Hat this summer to the newlyweds, and they both actually contacted me after via Facebook to say how happy they were with their gift, which I thought was really sweet of them! Huge thank you goes to my client again for selecting me to be part of such a sentimental gift, and of course for taking the beautiful photo I got to paint from.

Being that this painting is the first of it’s kind in my portfolio, I don’t have a portfolio section for it on my website just yet. But I have given it a home under my Custom Artwork page which features detailed info and pictures on many of my fully custom commission pieces to date. So please feel free to check out detail shots and additional pictures there too if you are interested.

All in all – I may have been intimidated by the thought of painting people before (and understandably I still am a little bit haha) but I’m excited to practice it more often now, and to add new people portrait commissions to my portfolio in the future 🙂 .

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