Artwork / 2007 / Harper and Addie

commissioned portraits of two little girls, sisters
Gwenn Seemel
Harper and Addie
acrylic on canvas
30 x 60 inches (combined dimensions)

To start my paintings, I sketch the image with charcoal on the primed canvas and, once it is looks mostly right, I solidify the charcoal lines with paint. Then I wash the whole canvas in a watered-down color to remove all charcoal and give me a base on which to paint. Usually, that base tint is a fairly light color, but, in this case, I used a dark brown-purple.

This meant that I spent a good deal of my time struggling to reclaim the highlights. I paint in acrylics but in a very watercolor-like manner. I depend on the layering of thinned colors for a depth effect, so the darker tint was complicating matters. I fought the dark under-painting throughout the process but fell in love with the richness it created when I saw the finished works.

Harper and Addie are some pretty cute kids, and Lily ranks up there with them.

painterly portrait of a little girl
detail image
painterly portrait of a little girl
detail image