kid collaboration: portraits

Over winter break I had two of my favorite kids hanging with me in my studio. We decided to collaborate on some new artwork which was really convenient because we had some time on our hands and quite a lot of energy to contend with.  I set up two easels along with some canvases and heavy duty watercolor papers and then had the boys choose the color paints they liked best.  We talked about what collaboration means and then we discussed how to lay down paint for a really cool background.

The boys knew that one of their works would end up being incorporated into a piece of art that I would work on a little bit later.  The boys are moving into a new house in the next month and I thought it would be fun to paint their portraits using their own paintings and present it to them later for their new bedrooms. We had a blast.  All in all the boys painted three works of art and I selected one piece from each of their piles that reflected their particular color choices and moods.  After the boys went home, I set to work on painting their portraits using their swirls of color to guide me. Here is a bit of the process:

finding their faces within the paint
refining their features
adding some skin tone
keeping some of their swirls of paint

I just love how these turned out and I particularly love using what the boys gave me as a starting point.  Their color choices early on determined the mood of the final portrait and interestingly enough were very much in line with who they are.  Such a fun collaboration – I can’t wait to get the framed pieces back to them so they can admire their/our handiwork!

kid collaboration: portraits framed and ready for delivery!

More to come – see you soon,


8 thoughts on “A kid collaboration of new artwork

  1. Meredith Howard says:

    Amazing El!! I love how these turned out!!! They are so lucky to have you. ❤️❤️❤️

    • Ellen McHale says:

      They are so cute (both the boys and the artwork!) – you’ll get a kick out of seeing where their paintings end and my begin. Will drop them off soon. xo

    • Ellen McHale says:

      Thank you Chris – we all had such a fun day together and both boys were excited to see how their paintings would transform later. I felt that our combined brush strokes really did capture a bit of them at that moment. xo

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