Sophia, 2013, oil on panel, 14 x 11 inchesIt has been two months since I've updated this blog, but this doesn't mean that I haven't been working. As a matter of fact I started three new paintings since January, one of which is almost close to completion. In the mean time I wanted to share this alla prima portrait of my six month old niece, Sophia. This little angel has brought so much light and happiness to the homes of my sister and my parents because of her lively, happy personality. Already at six months she shows a strong character, and this is what I wanted to capture in this quick portrait. Painting a baby was perhaps the most challenging kind of work I've done so far. You can not instruct a baby to sit still and pose for you, that would be too ideal, and since we don't live in an ideal world I had to work quickly, even more so than plein air painting. It took a total of three sessions to complete, the first session of about an hour I dedicated all my effort in sketching out her features and establishing the values. In the second session, which I had to work from memory, the goal was to flesh out the skin tones and try to keep it loose. The third session was all about finishing touches and adjusting the colors. I am looking forward to more portraits of Sophia as she grows up, I guess this little princes now has her own court painter. More to come!