The Smith Kids

I recently agreed to do a painting from this tiny reference photo.  This is close to the actual size of the digital photo I was given.  They tried very hard to find me a higher-resolution photo, to no avail.

The Smith Kids, Reference Photo

To get a sense of scale, each person’s head in this photo is about 20 x 40 pixels.  In a high-res photo of a person’s face, one eye would be at least this size.  Here’s one of the faces blown up so you can see what I was working with:

The Smith Kids, Reference Photo Detail

And here’s what one eye looks like in a good reference photo.  Reflections in the eyeball.  Wrinkles and pores and individual hairs.

High-Res Eye

You can see my dilemma.  Normally I would say “no way” to a project like this, but I really wanted to do this painting.  The people in the photo are the 6 siblings of the Smith family, and their family has been close to my own ever since we all met when I was 14.

I had to do this painting.  So I decided to jump in and do the best I could with that photo.  Here’s the result–it took me many hours.

The Smith Kids

20″ x 20″, Acrylic on Canvas

The Smith Kids

The painting was commissioned by their father as a gift for the oldest daughter (top left) who is one of my most loyal collectors and already owns several of my paintings.

Details of the faces:

The Smith Kids, Detail 1

The Smith Kids, Detail 2

I had to set aside my desire to get a perfect likeness of each person.  Instead I worked on getting it close enough so you could tell who’s who, and capturing some essence of each personality.

The Smith Kids, Detail 3

I’m particularly pleased with the hands:

The Smith Kids, Detail 4

The Smith Kids, Detail 5

The Smith Kids, Detail 6

6 thoughts on “The Smith Kids”

  1. Cedar,

    I’m also writing from the heavenly mosh-pit of our family, and one of the people in this painting just got up and went downstairs!

    This painting made me cry. It’s beautiful and you did capture them! Their Dad has got to be bowled over by this.

    Merry Christmas, Cedar!

    Soon, Thor will be opening your painting of Joey. I can’t wait!

    Thank you for being here to capture our lives and the people we love with your brush.

    Love you lots,

    Aunt Barb

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