So I know I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I liked the portrait instructor, France Stone’s remark that “resemblance is overrated.” And I suppose for learning a particular technique, that might be true. But I know that every since I was a young child, I have found magic in being able to create a portrait of someone that actually looks like them. I spent so many hours as a child drawing cartoon characters, and then as a teen copying pictures from magazines of famous actors and celebrities. And when the result bore a good resemblance, it was a wonderful feeling.

Recently, I saw this photo of Malala on the cover of Vogue, and I thought, she would be the perfect subject for my next attempt at painting a portrait with acrylic paint.

But I had a terrible time getting the painting to look like her. Here are some of the progress pics. And I still seem to be getting muddy mixes when trying to do skin tones.

I think I some of the trouble was because I was working off an altered image of her. We all know that the images we see in the media are not exactly what the person looks like. So I went back and looked at lots of other images of Malala, and what I decided was her distinctive feature, was her round face and large cheeks. So I kept at it, and landed here at photo on the right.

Overall I am pretty happy with it. It could use some finishing touches, but so often when I am done with a painting, it is really hard for me to go back. The first layer I did with a palette knife and I built on that. I was going for an “older” look — kind of like an old painting of a saint.

Then of course, I had to play with some digital version. And finally I looked for quotes of Malala, because people seem to like quotes. Here are some of the digital versions that I ended up with. In my head it resembles Malala — and that is enough for me!

Thanks for taking the time to join me as I continue to learn and grow as an artist. I appreciate you all. I would love it if you would add a comment below, or share this post with other artists, or fans of Malala.

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