Painting a Portrait of Char

2012 Portrait of Char in acrylics, step 3 - Copy

While living in Kazakhstan on a luxurious (!) local librarian’s salary, several generous friends (Penny, Christina, Catalina) paid for me to join them in acrylics classes. The wonderful Gaukhar Iskakova was our teacher, and this was my favorite project: a portrait of my Grandma Char.

First, I outlined Char and her cat in pencil, then began to pain in the colors and folds of her coat:

2012 Portrait of Char in acrylics, step 1

Next, I began to fill in the shadows and sketch out the hands–always a hard part for me

2012 Portrait of Char in acrylics, step 2

From there, I deepened the shadows and began working more on face and hair. Also the cat. My cats are terrible, and you’ll see that doesn’t change!

2012 Portrait of Char in acrylics, step 3

Finally, I fleshed out the cat and its beady little eyes, and highlighted the hands and watch a little more. Adding a classy string of pearls around her neck.

2012 Portrait of Char in acrylics, step 4

It’s been a few years, but this is still my favorite and best painting–and hanging above Grandma’s mantelpiece! Full story: she’s pregnant with my uncle here, but it’s the 1950s and so modestly hidden away.

 

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