Portrait Painting: "Sweetest Blossom"


I love taking a fearless approach to watercolour painting. It is very intimidating to attempt a portrait. Usually I get tangled up in creating a likeness, and the pressure causes me to paint stiffly and timidly.

My oldest daughter will be turning ten this month. Children really do grow up so quickly. Perhaps you know a girl like her, so tenderhearted. She is the one who gives her heart away, who never steps out of a hug first, who has gotten up early all week so she can tidy the house and make me coffee. She truly is blossoming into a lovely young woman and I wanted my painting to glow with colour representing her sweet spirit.

I used Jean Haines' approach to portraits by painting the eyes first. They are the life of a portrait, after all. I also spent less time studying the colours in the painting and used whatever I felt was right. I love the splashes of green gold that light up this watercolor painting, and the intriguing purples.

I'm inspired by this portrait, though I'm not certain it's finished or ever will be. What it has done for me is to excite me about the possibilities in portrait painting, and spark a host of new ideas for conveying mood by painting people in watercolour.