Portrait of brothers

Hello! It’s been a little while since I posted on this blog, but I have been very hard at work on a custom portrait painting of three children…none other than the adorable boys of one of my very oldest friends. I’ve literally known Jenna since we ourselves were babies! In fact, she had an early habit of carrying me around the babysitter’s house referring to me as her “baby”. But I digress…

What a fun project! I always get a kick out of drawing and painting child portraits, but this painting was particularly interesting, as Jenna wanted me to combine on one canvas three portraits of her kids at around the same age, somewhere in the 2-3 range. First, she sent me a bunch of pictures, and we together whittled these down to pick the photos I would paint from:

mstarkweather_adleyblog mstarkweather_liamblog mstarkweather_flynnblog

The second step was the map out how the three boys would fit together onto a canvas. This involved some printing, cutting, pasting, gridding, collaging, and sketching!


I spent quite a bit of time working with the digital photos to bring the hues, brightness, saturation and contrast as close together as possible. The three figures all have different sources of light, so it was important to at least get the amount of light on each figure reasonably close to the same. Adley, the boy on the left, was particularly challenging, as his face is entirely in shadow. Although in the final portrait the light still hits the side of his face, partially shading his features, I’ve lightened it up considerably. For me, painting from photos is not just copying a picture, but transforming the photo into a real portrait, with life and love and light.

And (many, many hours later) ta-da! The boys!


How charming are these little boys?! I can’t wait to meet Adley and Flynn this summer, and see Liam again! Not to mention seeing Jenna and her hubby; looking forward to that too! 

For more portraits of kids, please visit my gallery! I have also recently begun to post testimonials on my site; please have a read. I will be adding more custom portraits to my pet and people galleries, and adding testimonials to my page regularly.

xo melody

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