Art & Design Magazine

From the Art By Cedar Archives: Portraits of My Parents

By Artbycedar

When I look at these paintings, I see my mom and dad, but also I see an illustration of how tricky it can be for a beginner to mix flesh tones.

For the record, my dad is not chocolate brown with purple undertones. He is olive-skinned. And my mom is fair-skinned, with pink undertones but not red like a sunburn!

Steven and Ellie on Their Wedding Day. 30″ x 36″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2004 Cedar Lee

Despite the skin tones being so off, the painting captures their expressions and their happy memory from 35+ years ago.

You can see my skin tones had progressed quite a bit in this portrait of my dad I did a year later. What I love about this painting is his smile and the sparkle in his eyes.

Steven 21″ x 14″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2005 Cedar Lee

Then this painting of my mom, another year later, is even better. I captured her!

Ellie. 16″ x 20″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2006 Cedar Lee

In this one, I love how I painted the light falling on the contours of her face and hair.

The lesson here for beginning painters who have a desire to do portraits: At first, you almost definitely *won’t* succeed. But try, try again!

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