Blog » First Birthday Portraits: Kingsley (Tuesday, 17 November 2020)

This kid! Could he BE any cuter? The spark in his eyes is ever present and that smile would melt the hardest heart. Kingsley turns 1 this week, and as is tradition, his Mama sketched his portrait.

Pencil portraiture isn't my usual meduim or style, but I do love making these for my grand babies. Getting lost in the minute details of their precious faces is a bliss unequaled by anything I can think of.

To sketch and render a likeness, you really need to LOOK at your subject and notice the smallest details - the shapes that make up ears, eyes, and tiny mouths aren't the shapes we expect them to be.

While we know that faces are symmetrical, a slight turn of the head can mean that one half of the mouth or nose is larger than the other, add a tilt of the head and all the features sit on lines that aren't quite parallel.

The whites of eyes and teeth which our brain tells us are white, and shouldn't have any shading in them at all, in fact have a lot of subtle shadow. Leave out that subtle shadow, and your portrait looks weird, stark and harsh.

Depending on your light source, shadows can fall across the face in all kind of unexpected places - but it's those shadows that suggest the shape of the face, and a tiny adjustment can change the expression entirely.

While you're paying attention to all those things, you're also falling into those sparkling eyes, and getting to know this familiar little face in a much more intimate way than you ever would just gazing at it.

Happy Birthday Kingsley Buck, may that joyous sparkle never leave your eyes, and that smile always be so quick to form. Never forget you are made form stardust and sunshine.


You can see the rest of the first birthday portraits here:


Levi, Hunter & William


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