Livia and Bella

Charcoal Pencil on
Arches Cover White (523-617)

Size:  W.16" X H."
Date:  August 16, 2010

I suppose John Singer Sargent would have suggested a more simple blouse to draw and paint. I will admit to being challenged by the detail in this paisley or madras pattern. Let me tell you a secret. I did it three times before I was satisfied with the features of both mother and daughter.

On the first drawing the background of their beautiful patio with elegant flowers and masonry along with the blouse and Bella's dress distracted from the portraits, so I did it a second time but came away from the investment disappointed in the overall tonality. Both Livia and Bella looked too harsh and cold.

So, here we have it. After  more than fifty hours of paintakingly rendering every detail, I have something that both the artist and clients should be pleased with.

Let me give portrait artists a little advice here. I customarily charge considerably more for a two person portrait and I think that you should know why. It isn't all that difficult to satisfactorily catch the visage and personality on one person but doing two people is not double the difficulty of the one. You almost have to multiply the degree of difficulty by four. The reason for this is simple enough. It is a tough job to land on both feet in a two portrait painting. You will most likely miss it on one or the other. You also have to please more than two people in respect to what you've done with them. The artist must flatter without exaggeration or losing the person altogether. There is nothing simple about this, I promise. The chances of completely pleasing both models is near impossible.

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About tonyhedrickart

Just a little of my professional art background. I attended the University of Kansas where in 1967 I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting. From there I went on to graduate studies at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, Quebec. Sir George is now called Concordia University. During the more than forty years following my seven years of art instruction and academic training I pursued a wide range of creative occupations. I have worked as a stained glass window designer, an editorial cartoonists, an illustrator, art instructor and for a very long time the President and Creative Director of Ad Infinitum an Ottawa, Canada advertising agency that I founded in 1977.

After a successful career in the commercial art field I turned my attention back to painting in 1997. Since that time I have been honored to participate in and win a number of major art competitions. I have sold a large number of paintings which hang in private collections in Canada, the United States and many European nations. I have made at least twenty-eight trips to Italy.

I specialize in portraiture but I also paint a large  number of landscapes and still life images. My work is for sale and I invite people to contact me at