Baby Aubrey -Portrait in Oil

by Lisa Larrabee


Oil  6"x6"
artist Lisa Larrabee

My first baby portraits were of my twin boys (New Day).  The painting was small because I wanted to portray them life-size.  I have since painted other tiny baby portraits and they give me such pleasure to try and capture their precious little faces.  These moments pass by so quickly, it is important to take the opportunity to hold onto them.

This painting of Aubrey was a commissioned baby portrait intended to pair with a previous piece created of her big brother, Wyatt.  I began by following the same process that I used for his painting.

After painting the light values in white on a warm background, I used transparent glazes to adjust the colors.

I went back and forth adding white, glazing colors and building shadows.  At this point, I followed the same process as I had with my painting of Wyatt, but I felt the features looked too harsh.

I chose a different technique to finish her painting.  Using opaque colors, I scumbled lightly over areas (shadows in particular) to soften transitions and adjust color.  Stylistically the painting works with her brother's even though I shifted course.  Having a wide range of techniques is helpful when you need to find a solution to a problem.  

In the end, I achieve what I intended ...a happy mama.

You can view a more in depth description of my painting process with Wyatt HERE


Changing Perspective

by Lisa Larrabee

Bull Skull study I

Bull Skull study II

I frequently take the opportunity to draw alongside my students.  It helps me practice my drawing skills as well as provide an "extended demo" that students can refer to as their drawings progress.  I first allow students to set up around the still-life and then I find a place for myself.  This usually provides me with a contrasting view of the subject.  In this case, I ended up with a very similar perspective.  Because I work on the drawings in each class, they develop simultaneously.  I found that it was very helpful to slightly shift positions.  As I worked on one drawing, I would recognize measurements and relationships that we inaccurate on the other drawing, which I could then fix the following day.  Considering a different perspective (even if only a little different) will give you a better understanding of the subject as a whole.  This is true of both drawing and of life.

~ Lisa