Monday, January 26, 2015

New Portrait Assignment--and a Small Challenge

I received a new portrait commission from one of my favorite clients. Her niece, Madison, is 14 years old and has Down's Syndrome, and she has just been accepted to a special school in Massachusetts. The girl is understandably nervous at the idea of going so far away from home (it's several hundred miles away; not a quick trip down the road), but it's also very exciting, and her family is proud of her and happy that she got this opportunity. To celebrate, they are having me do a portrait of her, and to make it a little more special and personal, I am going to letter her name on it and customize it with things she likes. We talked about it and decided on butterflies, so I am planning on drawing some butterflies around her name and a few flying around her.

Now, I am drawing the portrait in pencil (I have included a portrait I drew of Queen Latifah as an example of my pencil work, above), but I am tempted to put the butterflies in color, because I thought that might be very cool and special. However, I'm concerned that the young lady might wonder why she is not also in color, and I don't want to hurt her feelings. I don't have kids of my own, but for those of you who have daughters, do you think I should put the butterflies in color if the rest of the picture is black and white? I feel like it would be a cool effect, but it would look fine if they were in black and white, also. I just want to make sure Madison feels special, because that's the point!

Image is my own artwork

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