Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ritratto di Bimba (Bella's Portrait) finished

It's done. And I think I sort of saved it.
Thank goodness for my husband's constructive criticisms and the mixed media approach that allowed me to correct at least partially my mistakes with pencils!

What did I change?
-Her eyes were/are not aligned. I used a dark brown pencil to redraw the lower and upper lids outlines to create the illusion of new boundaries.
-Her lips were vampire-like, way to red and dark, like if blood had congealed on them (yuk!). I used a white pastel pencil to tone down the redness.
-Her smile was sort of uncertain, so with a dark violet and brown pencils I pushed the corners of her mouth further sideways and upward.
-Then I used  dark and reddish brown pencils to define better her cheeks and the smile-puffiness under her eyes (what do you call those thigies?...8 month old kids cannot possibly have "bags" under their eyes!).
-After this, I darkened the left side of her face, because somehow it looked too broad before. This also, I think, helped giving a more 3-dimentional look to the face.
-I added wisps of hair here and there, to avoid the impression she was wearing a lopsided wig.
-Finally, I toned down the contour of her face and collar overlapping white pastel pencil to the too severe and bold multiliner sign.

I think that's about it.
I feel better about it, I think I can safely hang it in Bella's room without making her cry in fear of creating an unpleasant "mommy thinks I am ugly" complex. ;)

Hope you guys are all happy and enjoying this beautiful September day. Hugs and kisses,
Astera and family!


  1. hello Astera,

    that is a lot of fixing, as in a lot of details to figure out. I am glad that you did not give up. This is a magical portrait and i can only imagine that you pretty daughter will love it over the years.

    some people take photos of their art as they go along. Sometimes when it is on the big screen of a computer you can see things more clearly. Some people take photos with their phone and even looking on that screen gives them enough info. That would be too small for me.

    i think think this portrait is adorable with all the little magical critters and details!

  2. Hi Tammie, taking pictures of the line work and actually giving them a good long look at it before inking it is a very good suggestion. Usually, I am too caught up in the process or too pressed for time to really reflect on what I am doing and then it's too late...Let's say, this is going to be my proposition for next big project: stop and observe carefully, before plunging into colors!

    I am glad you liked the outcome anyways and I really appreciate your kind words. A big hug to you!

  3. Hi Astera,

    I hear it is very common that we don't see things we would change until afterwards, like when we put it on our blogs. i am going to try and remember to do this also with big pieces. xo

    1. ....the important thing is to do it early, not like me when I am almost finished! :D