I’m working on my first ever commissioned illustration for a magazine, and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s a gardening publication, and the article is about getting children excited about gardening, with specific instructions on building a bean pole teepee.
Okay, so I’m a portrait artist. My entire artistic premise is to paint what I see right in front of me, not something out of my head. Yes, I realize someday I’m going to have to get over that. But for this particular assignment, I enlisted the help of my kids (cheap labor!) and set up a little photo shoot for reference.
H is so dramatic, I thought her shoot would be easy. I told her to pretend that there was a secret garden right in front of her and she had to duck down to look into it. Her poses at first were stiff and overthought (wonder where she gets that?) but then she relaxed and we got this one, which will be perfect.
My painting of The Boy will be in the foreground of the layout, and I just asked him to hold a gardening hoe. He wanted to hold it a certain way and I told him to hold it differently. But he was right.
I love that I can say to my kids, “Hey I need to take some photos of you for a painting I’m doing about teepee forts,” and they’re all, “What do you want me to wear?” And then after the shoot they just kick off their rubber boots and go back to whatever they were doing because, that’s just how we roll.