Alaina has very interesting features. She doesn't look like the 8-year-old she is but already has hints of the beautiful woman she will become. Those older-than-eight features are a bit more difficult to capture than her sister's age appropriate, 10-year-old features. So...I started and made a mess so am starting again, focusing on the drawing a bit more (and bigger so her face fills the 1/2 sheet on which I'll be painting).
For my portrait challenge, you'll be getting the bad along with the good. Here's the first feeble efforts...
Went too pink too quickly - looking a bit like a little clown-girl in this one. So I tried to tone down the colors...and went too muddy. Plus I kept carving away the face so it's so tiny!!
The do-over is sketched out on tracing paper (so I can trace it onto the watercolor paper). Tried to get the face a bit larger, wide mouth more smiling. I think this one has a better chance of succeeding when I pick up the paint brush.
Each stroke of the brush, when doing portraits, is a learning experience. You learn: yes, do that, it works well. Or: Ugh! Stop now! That doesn't work. You think about colors, temperature, values, and also have to get the shapes right - the shapes of the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the distances between them...so much to think about and try to get just right. It can be tiring. But when it does come together and you think you've got it, it gives you a real rush that your hard work paid off.
For a child, a light touch is necessary. But Alaina has a very forceful personality and I want that to come out in this painting. I hope I can do that without overworking it and making her look too old.