Children’s Portraits, a true labor of love

Insights into the life and work of a portrait artist

Children's portraits in pastels traditionally handpainted from photo, child portrait painting

Drawing and painting children’s portraits has been my first love since the beginning of my artist’s journey, and it remains among the most fulfilling things that I  do.

Capturing the delicacy and the ethereal beauty of childhood in a custom portrait, the softness of a baby’s face, the clear, luminous skin tones, the transparency of their eyes, it all makes painting children’s portraits one  of my favorite art commissions.

For different, yet so similar reasons, I love painting pet portraits as well, but I will write about this in a future post).

I have often been commissioned to paint a child’s portrait, and afterward  to paint his siblings as well, little brothers or sisters, or cousins, and it is always so amazing  and fun to find and capture familiar traits, or in some cases totally different features and personalities within the same family!

Are children’s portraits more difficult than adult’s portraits?

Some say that painting children’s portraits is more difficult than painting adults, others say the opposite…

I would say that both views are valid – there is truth on both sides:

It might be tricky for someone to fully capture the youthfulness and the  specific proportions of a baby’s face, which are so different from adults, but I do find it is much more challenging to fully  capture an adult’s personality and character, his whole life is reflected in his face expression…;

This requires a bit of expertise and a sensitive eye to fully understand and portray the true essence of an adult.

The most rewarding part of being a children’s portrait artist

The best part of my job as a portrait artist, what makes it so fulfilling and worthwhile,  is working closely with my customers, creating a special bond with them.

 They  share parts of their personal lives with me,  showing me the reference photos that capture  that special moment in their life, or  of their child, that they would like me to immortalize in a portrait  – such as portraying their newborn baby, or their children, and choosing together the reference photo that I will use for the portrait is definitely a lovely part of the process!

And how heartwarming it is when proud and happy  grandparents contact me for a baby’s portrait,  showing me their grandchildren’s photos, asking me to portray them as a gift for the parent for Christmas, or other recurrences!

children portrait drawing, charcoal and sepia portrait from photo, child portrait drawing commission from photos

The deeply  Emotional, Moving Part of a children’s portrait artist’s life 

Sometimes, I get the very emotional, heartbreaking commission to portray a child that has gone to heaven… 

These kinds of commissions are always so emotional, delicate  and touching for me, as I can sense the deep need of the parents to receive a bit of comfort from their children’s portrait,  to alleviate the pain of loss, so I feel the great responsibility to meet this need, besides just painting a beautiful portrait of their child..

Exceeding my customers expectations is my goal

It is such a privilege to work closely with my clients, and, ultimately, to receive an email from them once they have received their child’s portrait, stating that it moved them to tears (happy tears!) and that they love it so much, that it means so much to them…

All these little things really do make my job as a children’s portrait artist important and special, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else!

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