Delayed Portrait Giveaway Artwork

In my last post, I wrote a bit on the fact that my posts are often a bit delayed from when the artwork is actually finished. As I said previously, it’s probably a fairly common phenomenon for many artists to delay sharing something by a month or two. But there have been times when those delays stacked up quite a bit more. That wedding portrait was a solid example of this, which was at least six months after the fact, but now I’ve got one prepared to completely one-up myself! Let’s travel back eight months to October 2021, which is when my last custom portrait giveaway was held. If you’re new to the site or otherwise not familiar with these giveaways, essentially I like to occasionally host raffles/sweepstakes offering the winner a drawing of whatever they would like.

These giveaways are a win-win scenario in my book; everyone gets something out of it. The contest winner gets a free portrait shipped to them, which so far the winners have seemed to like. Meanwhile, I get fresh ideas to practice with, which always a good thing. As an added bonus, I’m able to introduce new people to my website and artwork, and potentially gain some new blog followers. I try not to do too many of these giveaways though because there are probably diminishing returns in terms of reach. Particularly since I tend to share the giveaway to the same blogs, groups, and forums each time. But I like to host at least one, but sometimes two, of these each year. I’ve done somewhere around six or seven so far, and I’ve had really positive experiences with each one.

I’ve embedded some previous examples above – they’re hyperlinked, so click the image to see the original post. As I mentioned, these were really rewarding from my perspective. I’ve done a couple of drawings of peoples’ pets, which they seemed to really like. And one I did of someone’s family had a lot of meaning to them. Now, it’s likely that there’s some selection bias at play here too, since people who enter giveaways like this are probably already fans of art or interested in the prize. But it’s still nice that they’ve all worked out well. And this giveaway winner’s selection became another fun portrait experience! This time, the winner decided to turn the portrait prize into somewhat of a gift for her daughter. The winner’s granddaughters became the subjects of this one, and I think it turned out fairly well:

I am pretty satisfied with the end result. I think the two girls look just about as they should, at least based on the photo. Of course, it’s hard to judge how much a drawing looks like a subject you don’t actually know. But the giveaway winner reacted with excitement when I sent her a photo of it; that at least tells me I was on the right track. I think this piece features some pretty solid color layering, and I didn’t encounter any frustration on facial features. I am particularly happy with the flower details on their dresses, which I was a bit hesitant about. The colors started a bit too bright compared to the rest of the drawing, but I was able to dampen that a bit with a white pencil.

On the “always room for improvement” side of the house, definitely a weak point is the background. I halfway tried to capture some grass in the background, but it didn’t turn out well at all, so I abandoned ship before it became a distraction from the main subjects. That the background might take away from the people is always a fear of mine when drawing. I think that’s because I have such limited time to devote to art, and I’d hate to waste it by wrecking something. I think that contributes to making me too cautious as an artist. But my excessive caution aside, on the whole, I think this drawing works well. Another aspect that didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped was the light reflected off of their hair. I did an okay job there, but it doesn’t look as natural as I would have liked.

And, as usual, I’ve included the time-lapse video of how it came together. Although I took a detour with the last post and shared an actual video, in this case I went back to the still image slideshow style I’ve been using more frequently. The live capture style is nice, but I never figured out how to actually capture video that looks clear once it’s sped up. Probably wouldn’t be an issue if I had high end equipment, but I really only have my smartphone. Unless I upgrade my recording set up, I think the slideshow style is much easier to make work.

Another thought – even though I’m just now sharing this giveaway drawing, I wonder if it’s time to host another? As I mentioned at the top, it’s been like eight months, so I definitely think enough time has passed that I could make it work. I imagine I may not actually get to it for a few weeks, but I think they’ll be a fresh one coming in the near future!

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