After a nasty rejection several months ago, I had more-or-less decided to take a break from portraits. I did NO art for 2 or 3 months, and made myself sick on a cheap diet of Ramen noodles and whatnot, basically insolvent financially. Then I got into murals a bit, but I'm not sure how much I enjoy murals, to be honest.
Recently, a sculptor acquaintance of mine wanted a pastel portrait of his neighbor's newborn, a little girl, but instead of pastel, I chose oil. I delivered it yesterday, on Christmas Eve, and all were pleased. And I am pleased. I enjoyed the act of painting again in oils, in a portrait. It went well in most of its stages. About 20 hours perhaps.
I'm realizing how much I disdain pastel, and that rough scratch-scratch-scratch, and that pastel chalky "smoke" which rises and gets in my mouth and nostrils and lungs... I LOVE the smell and feel of oil, however.
Anyway... The canvas was 24 X 18 inches, but the portrait area inside the white border is about 11 X 8. The reference photo, you see, was cropped just like this, and was about an inch or two wide, so I just painted what I saw, which is a lot easier then trying to imagine how the head and body were completed. The photo had a white border and a pink field surrounding it.