Maternity portrait oil painting black and whiteIt’s been while since my last post. Been crazy busy with work. Doing a lot of graphic art for clients, which has cut into my painting. But I just finished a new portrait that I had been working on for a few weeks.

One of the hottest trends the last few years has been maternity portraits or pregnancy portraits. It is great that women have come to celebrate their bodies when expecting instead of hiding. This portrait was commissioned by the husband for their anniversary. How romantic is that?!? He took several black and white photos of the lovely lady, from which I created the portrait. Unfortunately, to protect the lady’s privacy, I cannot show the face.

The portrait was a composite of two photos – face from one, the rest from another. Sometimes it is difficult to get two or more elements from different photos to integrate naturally. This was no exception, as I had to work on the face more to get it all to blend properly.  I especially like how the light danced and passed through her hair.

I loved the composition and lighting of the photos. It reminded me of paintings of the madonna made during the Renaissance. So that was my approach in creating this portrait. Since the painting was to be in black and white, I chose to add life and dimension by using color temperatures. I generally do not use black paint to mix grays or dark tones. I mix other colors together to generate a warm, neutral or cool tone as needed. In this painting I used cool gray tones in the background, and warmer tones in the figure.

I would love to do more of these kinds of portraits. There are so many ways that I can think of to create a beautiful composition. Hope I get to do some more soon.