Portrait of a New Nephew

This is sort of a belated part two for my last post about holiday portrait gifts. In that write-up, I discussed a colored pencil drawing I gave to my mom as part of her Christmas gift this year. There was a delay in sharing that one because I wanted to wait until after I gave it to her. I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but it’s actually not the only gift portrait I was able to finish. Right before we left town, I finished a drawing of my sister’s baby. That was just in time to slip it into their gift as well!

It’s my first go as an uncle, and I have to say it’s pretty cool. It helps that my little nephew is such a chilled-out child. During our holiday family get-together, he just sort of sat around looking at everyone. He’s a curious little guy and has such an easy disposition. I mean, he gets fussy too like any baby. But overall he’s a pretty mellow dude. He also makes some funny faces, based on the photos my sister has sent.

I’m really impressed with how my sister and brother-in-law are doing as first time parents – not surprised, mind you. Just impressed. They’ve taken to it like ducks to water. And I think it’s really fascinating how a family can suddenly add another member and it quickly seems so normal. I mean, it makes sense from a parent’s perspective. With both of my kids, they instantly became part of the family team. But even from an uncle-level perspective, the little guy just seems like he’s already . I may be rambling at this point, and perhaps didn’t explain that very eloquently, but there you go. Anyhow, they’re doing great.

When I was pondering what to base a potential nephew drawing on, I considered trying one of their entire family. That’s been on my “ideas/inspiration” list for a while (including their pets). It’s still on the list, but for this one I decided to keep it simple and just sketch the kiddo.

Here is the final result:

As I’ve mentioned in previous conversations on artwork when my kids were smaller, drawing infants and very young kids can be very challenging. I think the problem is simply that their distinguishing features aren’t fully formed yet. Sure, your baby (or niece/nephew or other close relation) may look unique to you. But to a stranger, babies mostly just look like babies. Capturing those subtle features that distinguish an infant is very tricky, and I haven’t always been successful at it even with my own children.

In this case though, I think I was able to depict my nephew pretty accurately for the most part. Of course, his parents would really be the best judge of that. But from my perspective, he seems pretty close. I got his funny pose down too. I could have done a better job fleshing out the background and his little baby sitting donut, but honestly I was out of time. I believe I finished this like the day before we hit the road to visit them.

From a technical standpoint, I don’t have much to say about this one. I don’t feel like I made any major mistakes this time, which is always nice. The shading was solid and my color selection was pretty good. I suppose I could have used more contrast, but really that’s always a criticism I can levy against myself.

And now for the usual progression .gif:

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