Thursday, May 28, 2009

Children's Portraits

For the last 2 years or so I’ve been experimenting with painting children’s portraits on commission. When in Rome. Might as well tap into the community that I find myself hovering around the perifery of. Children's portraits are quite a challenge! I can paint a reasonably good likeness but the piece has to be affordable, which is why using oils wasn’t the best first choice. None the less, in usual fashion, I went that direction and regretted it after realizing I wasn’t making enough to justify the detail and hours I was putting in. In fact I misquoted an amount to a playdate friends mom, who although usually a seemingly easygoing lady, decided that telling her I couldn't paint her two children in oils for 300 dollars was grounds for never speaking to me again. Pricing is the ingrown toenail of being an artist.

Finally I switched to watercolor. My old friend!! Watercolors were my first love and I almost wish I’d never cheated on them with oils and printmaking (exept they are such lovely affairs). So light and optimistic watercolors are. So unpretentious! (Of course I still have three other bodies of work coming out- two of which are done in oil with all its buttery goodness).

This little guy was really into planets and was just calling out to be the little prince.

My client, a mom at my son's preschool, was thrilled with the finished piece. Always a nice feeling. I’d like to charge more but everyone is so destitute these days and Im happy just to paint with the light filled watercolor pigments. So Im thinking of creating a sliding scale. Somewhere between 150 and 400. Is that rediculous? Who would rather give me 400 than 150? But actually I'm happy with 150 so long as I don't have to make any 'alterations'. I even put an ad in the school newsletter. I'm advertising now? but no takers. 150 bucks?! Come ON thats such a DEAL. I need to tap into a wealthier community (do they still exist?) and charge 500. Hmph.

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