The finished portrait of “A Mother’s Joy” is shown here with a studio mat that I use to get an impression of how the final image will look once it has a mat and is framed. It helps to see it this way in case there are any color or value changes that need to be adjusted, which you might not have seen just looking at the painting on the easel.

If you are wondering about the expression on the mother’s face, she was overcome with joy at having just given birth to this beautiful little lady three days prior to when the snapshot was taken. so I wanted to make sure that her emotion came through in the painting.

For delivery to the client, I chose a double mat that has a gold metallic inner mat. The gold was a nice complement to the colors in the pastel painting. The over-mat was cream colored which gave the painting more contrast. The lighter cream over-mat helped to give the painting more depth and a more three dimensional look, which I think you can see here in the photo with just a single cream colored mat.

Below is a detail close up of the pastel painting. You can see some of the strokes, which blend together visually from a normal viewing distance. Although I tend to blend a lot of areas, like skin textures, in some areas I let the strokes blend optically – especially if another color the color of the paper is showing through. This pastel painting took about 20 hours to complete, as I was not in a hurry. I came back to it several times to make evaluate it and make any adjustments.

Hope you liked this portrait study. Let me know if you have any questions. Now, on to my next project. I am trying to work up several pieces – both drawing and painting – that I can use to show and enter competitions.