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This was a commissioned portrait of my cousin's newborn.  I started the piece by putting a couple layers of matte medium on a piece of untempered masonite.  If you are to do this technique, make sure you get untempered masonite and not traditional building tempered masonite.  There are harmful chemicals embedded in tempered masonite that will destroy your painting in the future.  The matte medium should seal those chemicals in, but you never know.
Next I drew the portrait using pencil and going over the important lines with a white charcoal pencil.                                        
Next, I started painting in the skin tones.  I also wanted to give the edge a soft feel so I put a dark background color, a dark purple, and softened up the edges of the head.
Then I added in the rest of the skin tones and shirt.  I chose yellow as a good shirt color in order to make it pop out from the purple.
After letting this dry I went back and glazed in some crimson into the cheeks and ears and nose.  Some purple and greens into the eye sockets, and some blues and purples into the hair.  I added in some spots of bright blues and greens and purples into the hairline.  I've come to realize that when doing a portrait it is important to add some colors that aren't necessarily real.  The idea behind a  painted portrait is not to replicate a picture perfectly, but to add artistic touches that make the portrait unique and special.   Making something a photo could never show.

Here is the final.  I added swirls of color, because this is a baby's portrait and it needs some magical-ness.  It is 8" x 10", Oil on Masonite.


  1. I love the picture, the color choices, the glowing power of your art and the sequential presentation with commentary.
    This piece will be on the walls of the Brogan family for centuries.


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