7 Christmas Gift Portrait Paintings

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Secret Christmas Gift Portrait Paintings — Revealed At Last!

Well, now that the big day has come and gone, it is time for me to show you what I’ve been frantically working on for the last two months. In November and early December I received a total of SEVEN commissions to do Christmas gift portrait paintings! These oil portraits tested my artistic and time management skills, and turned me into a full-time painter!

I’ve spent the past six weeks painting — often working 6-7 hours a day. My list of Christmas gift portraits began with the two cute kids Mason and Seneca (lower right above), then added three of Elaina’s grandson Bennett (upper left, upper right, lower left). I was so excited about these adorable subjects, I began immediately and made good progress in just a few days. In retrospect, it’s a good thing I got an early start on these, because along came commissions for the Two Happy Dogs and the Carson Family.

I hadn’t painted a pet for few months, so it was fun to immerse myself in capturing the facial expressions and fur textures of Lillian’s dogs. In the photo I used for reference, the background was a little out of focus. So I took some liberties (‘artistic license‘) with the foreground gravel and woods in the distance. :)

The final week before Christmas I had just the Carson Family (lower center) left to do, with four beautiful faces to capture. They turned out to be most cooperative, smiling at me the whole time. I was determined to get just the right expression for each of them; and was delighted the way these turned out. With some drying time figured in, the Carson’s were ready to be hand delivered on the 20th.

Whew! I felt like I had run a marathon! But now I miss all that company in my studio! Where did everyone go?

Managing the Family Christmas — Gift Portrait Painting Balance

These seven “due in December” Christmas gift portrait paintings were just enough pressure to cause me to pare my usual holiday madness down to essentials only — really a good thing! After all, it is all about gathering round all your loved ones, and spending time together. [Oh, yeah — and you have to coordinate schedules, feed them and stock the liquor cabinet.]

But when I look at these completed Christmas gift portraits and recall the great day we all had together yesterday, I have to say it was well worth the effort. Hope your family time was spectacular too!

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Two Family Portrait Paintings: ‘Seneca’ and brother ‘Mason’

November and December Family Portrait Paintings

The paint has really been flying in my studio for the past two months. I’ve had the extreme thrill of receiving SEVEN commissions! Six of these are family portrait paintings and one is a pet portrait.

Although they’re all in the same portrait category, these projects represent a wide variety of subjects, settings and sizes. And this is the biggest backlog I’ve had since I began painting seriously. At the end of November I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get them all done in time for Christmas! But I’m all caught up now.

Since most of these creations are for Christmas presents, their identities are TOP SECRET!!! Shhhhhh don’t tell! :-)

But I CAN reveal two of the family portrait paintings now, since these were done for an early December birthday present. Here are two cute siblings — Seneca and Mason:

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‘Seneca’ and ‘Mason’

These two cherubs were commissioned by their mother’s aunt Lillian, my latest art patron. She lives right here in Austin, Texas; so I planned to deliver these family portrait paintings in person. When ‘Mason’ and ‘Seneca’ were complete, I drove them over and Lillian asked if I would like to see her art collection! Would I ever!

Delivering the Family Portrait Paintings and Viewing Lillian’s Art Collection

She had a houseful of stunning pieces, in every genre and medium. What a beautiful Austin home she has made with so many unique and thought-provoking pieces! I was grateful and flattered that she trusted me with her precious loved ones. She clearly has vast experience with looking at and appreciating art!

Not only that, she also commissioned another painting for her brother of his two handsome dogs! That one IS a Christmas gift; so I won’t post it ’til January.

I am so grateful for all of you who help in so many ways to support my art! 

Have a most wonderful Christmas season, and revel in the time spent with those you love!

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Painting Child Portraits: #2/3 ‘Princess Charly’

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I really love painting child portraits, especially of my granddaughter Charly! This is the second in a set of three portraits I’m doing in the style of famous artists.

Franz Winterhalter Painted Child Portraits

My ‘Princess Charly’ was inspired by Franz Winterhalter’s’ masterpiece ‘Princess Charlotte of Belgium’. Winterhalter was the go-to painter for European royalty in the mid nineteenth century. He is most well known for his court portraiture and painting child portraits. Winterhalter’s fame spread across the globe; but he gradually lost favor with art critics because he tended to flatter and romanticize his subjects. Happily, he became popular and wealthy from his tactfulness!

winterhalter-child-portrait-paintingpainting-child-portraits-charly3Winterhalter’s Charlotte (painting) — Princess Charly (photo)

Princess Charlotte was born in Brussels in 1840, the only daughter of King Leopold I and his second wife, Louise of Orleans. Charlotte was about 8 years old when Winterhalter painted her.

At seventeen, she married Archduke (rarely called ‘Archie’) Maximilian of Austria. in 1864 French Emperor Napoleon III asked Maximilian  to become Emperor of Mexico. Charlotte embraced her new country. She changed her name to Carlotta and enjoyed exploring the Mayan ruins. I know this doesn’t have anything to do with painting child portraits; but bear with me.

After three years, France grew weary of the difficulty and expense of occupying Mexico. They recalled their troops and reduced supplies. This caused Carlotta to return to France to plead for assistance. Juarez led Mexican resistance fighters to retake control of the country. Maxmilian was promptly executed (firing squad). His last words were ‘Poor Carlotta’. Back in Belgium, Carlotta became clinically depressed. She spent the remainder of her life in seclusion (a quaint suburb of Meise) and died in 1927.

Back to painting child portraits. After this depressing vignette, wouldn’t you like to have your spirits lifted by a fabulous original oil painting?

I’m Painting Child Portraits for Christmas!

‘Princess Charly’ was great fun to paint. I’d like to spend the next few weeks painting child portraits for friends to give as Christmas presents. Do you have a young family member who deserves to be a prince or princess?

I’ll need to start soon to have your painting ready for Christmas.
Call me and let’s talk about it!  (512) 422-0654

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