As I was skimming through photographs looking for some good faces to practice portraits with, I came across a photo of my nephew Beau eating an ice cream cone in my backyard at my son’s sixth birthday party. I loved the expression on his face, so I sat down and got to it. Here is the trouble with painting– a lot happens really quickly, it’s exciting and then, well, the tedium sets in. I go from nothing to a fully sketched out face in ten minutes or so. I go from just a sketch to colors and values in another ten. And then there are the much longer periods of tweaking, adding, layering, adjusting. The development takes longer but is less apparent. I’m much more into the beginning stages.

I’ve been working on this little portrait for days now and every time I put fresh eyes on it, it asks me to work on it a bit more. But I’m calling it for now.

Every time I paint at an event or wedding, a stranger will inevitably walk up to me and tell me I have a little something on my face. Sometimes, I kid you not, they lick their fingers and try to wipe the paint off my brow or cheek. I love Beau’s expression in this painting because it says “I dare you to wipe my face.” I’m going to channel some of that energy at my next event where I will certainly continue my long streak of getting paint on my face.