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This is the Chicago Bears Fan little sister on a previous post. This was the first time I’ve ever tried a flat background that wasn’t ink. I decided to use red because of the green dress. This is one of my favorites because it is simple.


  1. You seem to have developed the skill of softening a wash on both sides. I have found this tricky, when I get the technique wrong all the colour disappears. But this child has these lovely smooth, rosy cheeks that are just asking for a (gentle) pinch. I have also been looking at your portraits of Father and Grandfather – I like this work.

    • Thank-you for the kind comments about my portraits. I can’t soften those hard edges if I let the paper dry unless it’s a non-staining color. I usually wait until I just see that hard edge start to form, then I pick up a smaller brush with less water and introduce it to the edge. If I use a lot of water, “Wooooosh!”, there goes the color!

  2. You’ve captured her expression well. Also the delicate, pale skin tones surrounded by darker colours – difficult to do using watercolour paints -I think so anyway.

    • Thank-you, June. That was my hardest challenge with this one. The little blue washes I used for the shadows to give her face some form, was what made this say “baby”. So much different than the shadows on older people.

  3. Oh! My!What a fantastic job ! And what a cutie !

    • Thank-you, Isabelle, for both compliments. She’s my son’s youngest.

  4. love the red background with the green dress, but the red also picks up the pink cheeks.

    Great painting.

    • Thank-you. I really never picked up on that, but you are right and I’ll stash that info the next time I paint a portrait.

  5. I love this, Leslie! That red background really brings out the pink in her little cheeks! I wish I could do watercolor portraits. Beautiful!

    • Thank-you, Beth. I think you would do just fine with a watercolor portrait. I love your animal ones. You can even use non-representational color in portraits like you do in animals. Remember? The wicked witch of the west was green!

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