Baby drawings are such fun to create, although the inexperienced artist can often "age" the child unintentionally. It is perhaps easier to draw older people as the bone structure is more apparent.
Baby Victoria was just one year old and spending time with her best friend Bentley, the Staffie, when photographer Joe Henighan caught their loving bond on camera.
When mum, Jenny, showed me the photo I knew it would make a lovely baby portrait. The dog HAD to be included as well, to tell the whole story. I loved the "smile" on his face and the relaxed pose. The adoring look from the little one just made it even more special.
Due to the position of the two of them, it was necessary to include some background in this portrait, although they are not always necessary for baby drawings. As the photo had not been taken with artwork in mind, there were objects in the background which were eliminated in the finished portrait. This meant I had to "recreate" the section where the cushions had been laying on the couch.
Once my outline sketch was in place, I started by adding the shading to Bentley, that face was just too tempting!
I use multiple layers of graphite in my drawings, starting with the harder H pencils, which only just show up at this stage, when photographed. Gradually I build up the values using the softer B pencils until I have the contrast needed to give a good portrait. I find getting those dark values helps me get a wide range of tones in a picture, from the white of the paper to the deep blacks.
Once Bentley was complete I moved to Victoria. I loved her tousled head of hair, that thumb in her mouth and her cute little pyjamas. Lastly, I drew a suggestion of the sofa, fading it out at the edges.
I loved this part of the commission - delivering the portrait!
The family were overjoyed with the results.
Jenny said. ... "I was a little skeptical whether it was possible to capture "the moment" in a drawing. I am truly delighted that you were able to. You have captured the very essence of Bentley and his love for Victoria, which is returned by her. I am very grateful to have such a talented piece of artwork on my walls. It is with pride that I can hang this alongside paintings done by my Grandparents, in my mini gallery."