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!