Am I Really 4 Now?

Am I Really 4 Now?

What a delightful portrait, probably your best yet!

Gorgeous watercolour portrait of Tabitha Thea, she is 4 already! Where has that time gone,doesn't seem that long ago that you were posting your portrait of her as a baby! Super work, you have captured her growing up beautifully, super work on her eyes and all her facial features of course, she is turning into a lovely little lady, next stop School, and as you will know so well once they start school times really flies.

Lovely portrait Thea, the colours in her hair are beautiful.

Well done Thea, you have caught the moment so well.

Thank you so much Louise, Gudrun, Ros, Fiona and Fred for saying such nice things about the portrait. Now that it is on my screen I keep seeing things that I should have tweaked, but isn't that always the way! You could probably go on fiddling forever but I try very hard not to do that as I find it affects the freshness of a painting.

And very fresh it is indeed Thea! A lovely lovely portrait of your granddaughter. The skin is so delicate and the hair so beautifully painted. Super work!!

This is a lovely portrait. Beautifully done.

I think you got this spot on Thea. I admire your courage for taking on the challenge of child potraiture: was there ever a more ungrateful subject - and in watercolour to boot! But since you know and love the subject, you've imbued it with personality despite the lack of wrinkles and blemishes which make such gratifying fodder for the artist. The flesh tones are delicate, the gaze quizzical and her hair has lovely texture too. Bet she's chuffed!

Thank you very much Satu and Dawn for your generous and lovely comments, so much appreciated. Thank you, Kim, for your feedback which you know I value. Strangely enough I find painting children easier than painting adults. I think you are harder on yourself when you intimately know the subject because anything less than a likeness you recognise just won't do, so there is always that added pressure when I paint my grandchildren. As for painting wrinkles, I asked Charles Reid, when I was on the recent course, why he didn't put lines and wrinkles when he did a portrait of someone older. He replied 'Remember, the more you put in, the worse it gets' and he then went on to demonstrate that he used colour and strategically placed patches of tone to denote the ageing face. I keep this in mind when I paint a portrait now. Luckily, with children, the wrinkle dilemma doesn't come into it (may well be why I choose to paint them!). Tabitha did immediately recognise herself when I showed her the painting, although I suspect I hadn't made it sparkly enough to satisfy an embryo mermaid (which is what she wants to be when she grows up - Job Centre be warned, lol!)

Well your little mermaid looks beautiful Thea. Grown up hair but still with a baby softness around the eyes and mouth. Absolutely charming.

I suppose it's a question of likenesses. It's all well and good to set ourselves the aim of "capturing the essence" of a sitter. But if the final result doesn't look like them, they're probably going to be disappointed. As you know, I too work with blotches of colour. However, whilst I agree that explicit wrinkles always stick out like a sore thumb, I still need some extra detail to get closer to the subject - without becoming photographic of course. I was approached the other day by a watercolourist who said she worked closely with photographers to get ultra-high definition prints that she could paint from. I asked why. "So that they look lifelike" she answered. Why bother - you've already got the photo, I told her. "Oh, I hadn't thought of that....."!

This is lovely...simple, understated, lovely loose technique and very effective!

Kim, I aim for a likeness but without the portrait being realistic per se. I definitely want to achieve a look which is a long way from a photo even although I strive to get accuracy where it is needed. It has to be an artistic interpretation first and last. Thank you very much, Roger, for such a positive comment - very kind of you.

Well you know what a poetry fiend I am - as soon as I saw this I thought of the poem 'Jenny Kissed Me' by Leigh Hunt, a favourite of mine, hope you don't mind me quoting it in full - but read Tabitha for Jenny- Jenny kissed me when we met, Jumping from the chair she sat in, Time you thief who love to put sweets into your list put that in! Say I'm weary,say I'm sad, say that health and wealth have missed me say I'm growing old but add Jenny kissed me! Sure Tabitha will hold this portrait very dear in the future!

Lovely verse, Debs, and I do know how knowledgable you are about poetry. I am flattered that Tabitha's portrait reminded you of such insightful words. Thank you..

A really heartwarming portrait, so obviously painted with love, Thea. You've captured both the pensive look and the enigmatic gaze perfectly. It's just beautiful.

Thank you, Seok. That's really kind of you.

I don't know how I missed these wonder Portraits, this little girl is beautiful, and as usual in your lovely delicate style.If you want to email your photo of your dog making his bed, I would love to have a go at drawing it. my E mail is [email protected]

Thank you very much Karyl - very kind of you.

Hang on Studio Wall

This is my latest portrait of my grand-daughter, Tabitha. She has now reached the dizzy heights of being 4 years old and this was done from a photo we took on her birthday. Amongst all the excitement of presents and cake, she paused for a pensive moment - perhaps reflecting on being a 'big girl' now so that is the image I chose to record in painting. I haven't done a full face portrait for ages and I really had to think hard about my approach, but it was very enjoyable having a go. Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico 300lbs.

About the Artist
Thea Cable

I am a watercolourist first and foremost as I love the qualities of the medium, its riskiness and unpredictability. I started painting about 8 years ago and it has now become an integral part of my life. Hopefully, I will continue to paint into my dotage as I am given to understand that you can…

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