Hope Cunningham Fine Art

To view more of my work, please visit www.hopecunningham.com

Monday, January 21, 2013


Natalie 14 x 11 Original Oil Painting

This past week I have been painting up a storm. It's really hard to restrain myself from posting more than one image at a time. With each portrait, I am getting more excited by the project.

On Friday, I painted two alla prima portraits. This is the second one of the day. It was a new challenge because my model was a fifth grader.  Natalie was very interested in the process, but more interested in helping me paint. She wanted to know all about how I mixed colors, drew, applied paint and cleaned up. Predictably, she was much less interested in sitting still. She liked posing, just wanted to take a more dramatic one every time! Honestly, she did do a wonderful job and was a joy to work with. After about an hour and a half, I knew there would be able no restraining her natural exuberance much longer. I gave her a long break and we called it quits after two hours.

I know, she looks older than a fifth grader. (Naturally, she was delighted by this turn of events.) Obviously much more practice painting children is called for. The experience offered some valuable lessons that will (hopefully!) inform my next attempt at working with a young model.  I also learned how important it is to leave the paint alone once I stop for the day. After going back into the painting the next day to tweak it, I found I hurt rather than helped the painting. Perhaps in the effort to retain a spontaneous freshness it's necessary to just accept minor flaws. Better still, next time I will use a mirror to check my drawing!

What I do love about this painting is the arrangement of color and value. This is the first time I used such a high key background, I really like the result.

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