Mikayla, age four

by DL
(Washington state)

A surprised Mikayla

A surprised Mikayla

This is an acrylic painting on a 9 x 12 inch canvas board. The painting was done from a candid photo, taken in her house when she was four years old, while we adults sat at the kitchen table and chatted.


Acrylic painting is a fairly new medium for me and had its own difficulties since I am entirely self-taught. I had previously used oil paints, which blend so much more easily since they don't dry as fast. Still, acrylic is what I had to work with and I wanted to capture those eyes and her expression.

The one difficulty in this painting actually was the shirt. She was wearing a rather homely t-shirt so what she wears in the painting is entirely "invention." While I can successfully paint most things realistically, clothing has been a particular challenge in any medium used and I am usually disappointed at the end result.

Does anybody have any tips on painting clothing to look natural? Books on portraiture skim over that aspect and leave me dissatisfied and needing more.

Comments for Mikayla, age four

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Mikayla, age four
by: Helen

I think you have done a great job. I like the hair and the little loose strands.

Acrylic is not my medium either. but I know I will have to try it soon. I would like to have an all roundd experience by trying other mediums. I prefer watercolour and oils.

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Wonderful painting
by: Puppy

I think you have painted a wonderful portrait.I love the innocense you have captured,also very expressive eyes.Practice painting different types of cloth such as silk,corduroy or terry towel.I think a portrait this close should have subdued clothing.Great job!

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Mikayla
by: Angeline, the Netherlands

What a beautiful portrait of a beautiful girl.

To practice clothing, you could try to draw a napkin or a tea towel, draped with folds. Just hold it in the air and let it fall down on the table. Let the light shine from one side. Than you can see the shadows and the highligths and try to draw them. That makes it easier to paint folds in clothes.

I also think that her right eye, left on the painting, should be a little bit closer to her nose, and that the highlights in the pupils of her eyes should be both on the same side. Now she is looking a bit cross-eyed.

But nevertheless, I like your painting very much.
I hope you don't mind my remarks.

Angeline
www.angeline-rijkeboer.exto.nl



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Mikayla
by: Mops

Hi Dl:
This is a charming portrait. Lovely shine on the hair and her dress looks as if it's made of silk.
When I paint landscapes I paint a layer of gesso and while it's wet I add the other colors and blend with a soft brush. Not sure if this would work with a portrait.
Mops

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Fabric
by: Dorothy , Carluke

Hi,

I think you have made a great job of a sweet little girl.

I like the way you have painted the soft wave in her hair and the colours you have used.

Regarding the fabric the only advice I can give you is just to study how the folds of the fabric lie and where the shadows and highlights fall. The shape and posture of the body will dictate how the clothes sit.

If it is proving too much do what I was advised to do when I was struggling with fabric whilst painting a head and shoulders portrait and that was to just hint at the shirt with no detail after all it is the person's face that is of interest.

Well done,

Dorothy

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girl
by: Mary

Clothing is about folds made by how we hold ourself and move ....so it's all in the shadows they make . Doing this from the imagination is hard ..perhaps her t-shirt (which she chose) would have been a better choice . She's a beauty ...well done .

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Mikayla
by: Vicki

Very nicely done.

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Beautiful!
by: Anonymous

You did a fabulous portrait of this pretty little girl and captured that adorable look so well.


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