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Have you ever tried a double portrait? I found it extremely difficult. This painting is a continuation of trying to find the pathway of light that Don Andrews suggests. I may have left a little too much white. I’m not sure.  I wanted the light to cross the tops of the girls’  heads and continue along the hugging arm of the little girl on the left because I thought the hand and forearm were important to cast light on. I would have liked the background to be a little darker, but each time I brought it a step darker, I had to bring the subjects along with it as the background became prominent instead of the faces and the figures began to appear cut out.  Thus, I am leaving it like this as I don’t wish to disturb the image more and lose what I already have.  Double portraits is an area I will continue to revisit. 🙂

Beth Parker has effectly introduced sunlight into her painting, here!

If you’d like to view Don Andrews work, it is here.


  1. Double portrait. Double trouble or double success? I think it’s double success! You did a fabulous job with these two beautiful little girls. Looking forward to your revisits to this theme.

  2. this is a totally amazing work! double portraits! wuhooo! love the lightings!

  3. I think it’s delightful! I think the way the light shines upon the hair is very successful indeed! I am enjoying these
    ‘pathways of light ‘exercises very much and I love that you can actually zoom into these images and see every detail even the water splashes sometimes 🙂 which adds to the journey!

    • Thank-you Lynda! I like that option of being able to enlarge a painting or drawing, also. It has helped me to see some of the things that other artists do. Loved your post on the women in paintings, today!

  4. Leslie, This painting is beautiful. You captured the love between the two girls and their joy.


  5. I would say, don’t be afraid of watering down some Payne’s Grey and putting it as needed judiciously. Am I being too forward to say so? Also the child’s arm looks like a phallic symbol at the wrist. Sometimes these things can’t be helped and sometimes they can be. All the best, Sybil

  6. I love the feeling in this painting. The children are beautifully animated and the painting captures their sisterly connection.

    • Thank-you, Kirsty. These two are a hoot! They are close and watch every move the other makes.

  7. i see what you’re saying.I rather think you have a knack for portraits

    • Thank-you, Richard. I don’t know why I get into that fearing about ruining something. Some of my favorite art of others are when they are distorted and quirky. Maybe it was just the subject material this time.

  8. Gorgeous! Lovely, soft, gentle color scheme. Beautiful mingling of colors. I followed the whites and they form a nice almost circular path that leads your eye around the painting. I like that. The expressions are so sweet and you have done a great job with this challenging subject.

    • Thank-you, Linda. I actually thought of you and your cowgirl painting as I worked on this! Thank-you for verifying that pathway for me. This is still so new. I hope to someday be able to fill more and more of those whites in and not loose the feeling of light.

  9. I’ve never attempted a single portrait! I’ve done a self-portrait, but I’m really intimidated by portraits. I have this problem where what I paint must look like the subject or I hate it. I think some refer to it as “anal perfectionism”. 🙂

    • Thank-you, Bree! I know what you mean. I did not take this furthur because I was afraid I might lose what I already had. It seems like the ones that are the most fun are when you go with what the water and the paint says and try to figure the ins and outs of your composition from that. I can do that , more, when they are not my family. Hey, how about those storms and wind, yesterday? This is one wet spring, here!

  10. This painting is incredible, Leslie! I zoomed in and just couldn’t quit looking at it! The colors, the whites, the glow…. I could go on & on! I love the hair sticking straight up!! *BIG grin*

    I tried to play with the white line a little this weekend, but used some old masking fluid and had to add paint, as the fluid soiled the white after it was removed. Big ugly mess, I tell ya. But, I will try again, because it really is a wonderful technique!

    • Thank-you, thank-you! The hair sticking up would be Payton! I accentuated her eyes, but they really are huge in real life. I don’t use masking for the white areas. I do my drawing and then put in a light wash of all the colors I am going to use so I can see if the path works. Then I go back in with the stronger colors a couple of times and even over some of the white areas so it doesn’t look so glaring. Andrews suggests we do value studies, first (simple ones) to make sure we like the area we have accentuated. You could start with small brushes and a light wash of the colors you are planning to use, Beth. Once you carve that out, you are home free, paint as you always do.

  11. They look so adorable, the lighting is just right and their golden brown hair just shines under the sun. This is really a lovely portrait.

  12. Very nice painting, Leslie! One can see the love between the two sisters. And that is not easy to achieve, but you did.
    Well done!

    • Thank-you, Jan! I really like your recent post of the lady smiling while washing dishes!

  13. Wonderful positioning, and the way you paint the lighting is very cool. Thanks also for explaining the process of placing in a light wash after drawing. The coloring looks fantastic, Leslie 🙂

    • I have to place that light wash so that I can see if the path of light reads somewhat OK. Thank-you, Adam!

  14. They are beautiful. I know nothing about the path of light in a painting, but You have captured these kids inner lights, their joy and innocence. Very difficult to do. I just want to hug them too ! The colors are sweet and vibrant at the same time. You never cease to amaze me !

    • Thank-you for making my day, Isabelle! I did stop short with this one because I was so afraid I would wreck what I already had.

  15. I find the hardest part in watercolour is leaving the white I don’t like using masking fluid I find it some times ruins the paper.

    I think you left just enough white.

    • I agree with you, Richard. It is not easy sitting in front of a scene and selecting where to place the whites. I only use masking fluid on tiny areas that I know I would not be able to save because it is so time consuming to lift out those hard edges it creates. I used NO masking fluid on this piece, just carved around the lights and softened the edges with a damp brush where it was needed. Thanks for the comment!

  16. Hey Leslie! They are adorable! My Lord. All eyes and wonder. And I checked out Your friend’s sites as well….really lovely. SO MANY incredible artists on the planet!!!!! Thank You and Cheers and Namaste. 🙂

    • Thank-you for the comment, Bliss, and for visiting Beth’s and Don Andrews sites. I loved peering through the green grass in your recent post! It has been so long!

  17. Double portrait seems very hard to me from the composition point of view. I have considered a double portrait a couple of times and after playing with a thought for a while gave up the idea at the time. I can’t figure out how to unite my composition if I want both faces to be a center of interest. The composition falls apart. You have united the faces beautifully here – your composition is holding. I am not sure how you have accomplished that. The only “trick” I noticed with my uneducated eye is that the heads are tilted to the center, this most certainly helps.

    Altogether – beautiful work! I don’t think there is too much white. I think this white brings sunshine and hope to the image – very appropriate.

    • Hi Alex. You make a good point. I don’t begin to know enough about composition. I sort of take the basics and go with the flow. I like one view of composition that I read, once. The author suggested that rules of composition are not rules at all but guidelines to help us better design our paintings for the viewer based on what has worked for artists before us. This author said that breaking a few rules, once in awhile, can strengthen a composition and the artist’s voice. I try to be mindful of composition, but try not to let it cause me “not” to try something. I am of the same belief about distortion and value and line and all else. I suppose I am an artist when someone says I am. Me? I just enjoy this thing they call drawing and painting. I thought this worked because of the hug. See those diagonal lines leading off their backs and into the corners of the format? They are big “NO-NOs” in composition. I did it anyway. Some jurors would also be critical saying this is too symmetrical. I just had to try it because I liked the challenge of it. I guess that is a long-winded way of discussing this painting. You have remarkable talent, Alex, and I would hate to see you restrict yourself so much that we would miss out on your incredible vision. Thanks for this discussion because I think it is a “biggie” in the art world!

  18. Great job with a difficult subject. I agree that two figures can be challenging – both compositionally and psychologically. You’ve met that challenge on both counts here – and I love that you’re not afraid to break the “rules!”

    • You do double figures a lot. I admire your “gutsiness” if that’s a word. Not afraid to break the rules. There are some things we can not understand until we draw and paint and draw and paint. I would not deny anyone the experience of art creation because of some rules! Thanks for the visit and the comment. Really liked your new website, Anne!

  19. Watercolor and faces…very difficult. And this is breathtaking. You capture that sweetness and the light of soul, beautfiul work Leslie…

  20. angelic! i am totally taken in awe by the rapturous colors you mixed here in its vivid light. what a lovely, lovely sight indeed. soft colors. innocent looking faces of children. i felt happy looking at this.

    • Thank-you for such a wonderful comment, Marvin. “angelic”, I like that a lot!

  21. This is an amazing work, very well done!

  22. Great job! It is a very dramatic piece, which is kind of unusual since all of the light tones used. You captured the love and innocence they share and that’s what makes this piece realistic. Anyone should just feel good after looking at this painting.

    • WOW! Thank-you, Glen, for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment! It is a special honor when my son visits, for sure!

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