Oil Portrait of a Pony-Mad Young Girl

The Sitter

Isla is the oldest of 4 children. At 12,  the adolescent is lurking in the wings but she is still delightfully young and sweet and in the full swing of pony madness. She arrived, as instructed, with lots of changes of clothes and various props including some rosettes and, rather charmingly, her teddybear. But we decided to allude to the riding obsession with the jodphurs. Anything more would be somewhat overstating it.

Work in Progress

I always love the beginning of a new painting. You cover such a lot of ground – quite literally. Start with a totally blank primed board and just hours later, the promise of a portrait has emerged. There is energy and excitement about blocking in the main shapes and working out the colour palette of the painting.

Stage 1

Stage 2

Starting to refine the colours a little and build up the reflected light that is coming from the lamp to the right of Isla.

Stage 3

Still heading in the right direction.

Stage 4

I like what is happening to the face, but the background has lost some of its energy both in colour and paint strokes


Stage 5

I like to use pastels on a painting as a tool to work out what I need to do to bring some energy back into a painting. It’s a great way to work out what colours I can introduce.

The Final Portrait

All done. Reintroduced the energy and zest into the background and everything ties together more so there is a fluidity and movement within the various fabrics.

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