Enjoy Expert Professional Portraiture

Ms. Way has captured the likeness of the young and old, both living and deceased, in portraits featuring one to three subjects in a variety of mediums. Expert likenesses can be commissioned from life, from photographs or both. 
Portraits of People
   Portraiture is a challenging task to take on.   I've seen artists try portraiture because it is known to pay well.  They may tend to get discouraged if the client does not love the result.  The client is then pronounced "too picky".    I think the artist has to be even more picky than the client.  If it doesn't please me, I don't show it to the client until it does.  Even this is not fail safe.   You have to ask enough questions and have the infinite patience to make changes PLUS have considerable talents as a mind reader. At times, a client just can't explain what it is that bothers him. . Patience and understanding are important.  

I've had a new student,  who never painted before, come to the first class with a photo of her three children to paint.  (Groan!) This is an unrealistic expectation.  I know she is going to be very frustrated, very quickly, so I diplomatically explain that you have to walk before you can run.  If she cannot, or not, (and did not) understand, I am always willing to refer her to another teacher, who may not be as helpful.  

If you want something easier than portraiture, you stick to landscapes.   I start my new students with landscapes and this is not to denigrate landscape artists.  To the beginner, I say, "whatever you do to a tree, somewhere in the world, there is a tree that looks like that."   While this is humorous, it is a fact AND it is a comfort to the new student that his first piece, at least  'looks like something'. 
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Portraits of Animals
Everything I just said above with regard to portraits of people, applies equally to creating portraits of animals. 

Just as clients want their own portrait or the portraits of their human children to really look like them, so too,
the 'parents' of pet dogs, cats, horses, will react the same way.  

Sometimes it can even be more difficult to obtain a likeness for a Weimaraner for the very reason that,  to the untrained eye, all Weimaraners look alike because they have similar characteristics.   Being a livestock judge for 25 years, I have no problem seeing differences.   But it can be a problem if all poodles look alike to the artist.

This is the best and first compliment I ever received for a pet portrait....a pen and ink of a Bishon Frisee male named "Sprockett".......  

   "Sandy was afraid the portrait would look like just any Bichon, but it really looks exactly like our boy because you got his personality!" ( Liz, after she won the silent auction bid at the fundraiser for Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society that I had donated).  We bonded!

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