Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What's Your Thoughts on Portraits

As some of you know, I have been anxiously awaiting my son's portrait arrival!  
Guess what!!!!!  It came!!!  Here it is!  The artist really captured him!  There is only a little tweaking to be done.I love the colors, wish you could see how bright it really is, but I took this yesterday when it was dark in the house so this is as good as it gets.  I chose the traditional route because my older children's portraits which were done 15-20 years ago were also oil.  There is something about an oil portrait that lends itself to a formal space but I tried really hard with all three of my children's portraits to keep them casual so that they could be used anywhere.  

This portrait was painted by the artist, Chuck Leise, from Wilmington, NC
Chuck is not only a very talented artist, but one of the nicest people I have ever met.
This was the first time I had ever worked with Chuck.  This boy is a sweet child and I think Chuck did a great job of relaying his essence in this portrait.  He was almost 13 when he sat for this portrait so
this is a tricky time to have portraits done.  He had braces which we didn't want to show.  I have never liked any teeth showing in portraits so that worked out fine for us. 

My older two children's portraits were painted by Charley O and are below:
The first one is my oldest child's portrait.  He was not thrilled with having to spend the afternoon
with the artist, but in the end he really got a kick out of it.  She put so much symbolism
in the portrait.  I won't bore you with the details, but all very meaningful especially now that he is gone.

I  love this portrait of my daughter.  She was a very serious little girl and the artist
caught her expression perfectly.  She wasn't happy about the afternoon spent with the
artist one bit until the artist told her she could bring her favorite stuffed animal which is
at her feet in the portrait.  There was 10 years difference in the portrait of my first child and
this one, so you can see how the artist improved in her skill.  This portrait is big 40 x 40 and
a little more detailed than my first son's portrait.  I purposely cropped the frame off both of the
portraits because I wanted to focus on the children here.

While we are on the topic of portraits, I was wondering do you like portraits?
Working with clients, I have found that some people do and some people don't like portraits hanging in their homes.  I guess my it's southern roots showing through, but in the south people tend get their children's portraits done around the age of 5(before they lose their teeth) at 16, 18 or 21 which marks milestone birthdays.  Formal portraits are for everyone though.

Here is a contemporary approach to portraits fro James Wall Portraits

In recent years, some people have strayed away from the traditional portraits
 for more contemporary family portraits like the ones below which I think are fun.

"Birney" by James Wall

We are seeing a lot more photography these days like this cute little guy.  Supersized seems
to be the way to go.  It adds drama to the room.

These black and white photographs on canvas are dynamic in a space like this.  

Nestor has some black and white photography of her children in grouping
with other things  which works well.

I also think sketches are really nice.  Still rather traditional but with a little more organic feel.
There are lots of different mediums  to chose from, like sepia,
watercolors, pen and ink and charcoal like this one..

 I especially like the sepia studies like this one:

What about this pop art version for a child's room?  


Sugar Bee Crafts made this from her own photography.  
The complete tutorial is Here.

Sugar Bee Crafts

Or you could create a full wall mural like this one by Clicking here!
I think would be fun to do in a hallway or playroom.  I have been thinking about
doing one of these with a photograph of my parents from their wedding and putting in
their beach house so surprise them.  It's easily removable, so how great is that?

Another option..

Here is a family photo that was taken and make super size by Lulu de Kwiatkowski's and featured in Lonny

Here is a mix of color and black and white photography.

Poppy Talk blog has another great tutorial on how to make this poster from a photograph here...

Let's don't forget about the ever popular silhouettes either.  They have made a big comeback
in recent years but are also much larger than used in the past as shown below.  There is a tutorial
on how to make silhouettes here!

No matter what your preference is where portraits are concerned, I think you will agree that
they do add personality to a home.  Let me know what kind of portraits you favor?
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  1. I'm not sure if it is a Southern thing or not, but I do like portraits. We have an oil painting of each of our boys when they were 5 and I love them. You shared some great inspiration pics in this post!

    1. Thanks Rene. I would love to see your boy's portraits!

  2. Your portraits are truly priceless, Lisa! I love all of the different styles from formal to more modern b & w. I agree they add so much personality to a space.

    1. Thank You Pam! I do love all the different styles as well!

  3. I love portraits, but I tend to favor silhouettes and some of the more modern options - but even still, there is something so warm and wonderful about a classic oil portrait. The portraits of your children are just beautiful, Lisa! What treasures they are.

    PS - I love the artist Elizabeth Peyton and her portraits!

    1. Wow! Her work is really interesting. I like the more modern options too Traci, I think if I were starting with the first child today I would have gotten sepia sketches done of all my children but starting with Walker 20 yr. ago, oil was the way to go then, hopefully they will still be hangable 50 years from now! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I love portraits and yours are all beautiful. My daughter's portrait was done when she was 3, also in oil and very traditional. I was always afraid if I did it more modern, that I would grow tired of it - 23 years later, I still love seeing it hanging in my living room!!

    1. You and I think alike! I love all the new contemporary portraits but I do feel the traditional oils will stand the test of time!

  5. Your kids' portraits are beautiful and more so if you enjoy them. I have never thought of portraits like those but have been contemplating the larger photographic ones and the profile ones. There are so many choices!


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