How to paint a Child in acrylic paint, Child’s expressive portrait figure for Chicago school mural

I decided to practice painting a child’s portrait in Acrylic paint. The little girl featured on the Wonder Montessori School will exhibit an intense sincere expression of laughter. She will embody health and happiness and, as such, she’ll encourage the pursuit of health and happiness through positive means in the audience.

painting a happy little girl by Marta Jelen Sytniewski SignificantArt

painting a happy little girl by Marta Jelen Sytniewski SignificantArt

My photos and descriptions can be studied to learn how to paint a portrait and a child’s figure in acrylic paint.

To paint the child I first projected my pencil draft onto the canvas and traced the main shapes in soft charcoal.  I applied a fixative. To control for simultaneous contrast i neutralized the background by applying soft transparent washes.

Blocking in an expressive human figure by Marta Sytniewski SignificantArt

Blocking in an expressive human figure by Marta Sytniewski SignificantArt

To obtain flesh colors I mix yellow with red, then I add an hint of blue. I cool and blur the colors with black and white. Here I painted a darker outline and blocked in the main shapes of the child. In this preliminary design the child is kicking her legs happily. This position presents a challenge without a model due to shortening and lack of detail in an imaginary model… ….a detail that will soon be resolved :)

Marta Jelen Sytniewski happily painting what is good and helpful to others

Marta Jelen Sytniewski happily painting what is good and helpful to others

I am very happy when I paint, because I’m doing something that will help others, even if this help will exists only as implicit positive cognitions. This particular painting will teach children, who will constitute the primary viewers of the mural, that happiness is found in service and  care toward the least of us; animals.

About Marta Sytniewski

My greatest passion and calling in life is to help people through my art. Inspired by St. Faustina’s vision of the Divine Mercy painting, I decided to paint what I think is morally and intellectually significant to society. St. Faustina’s painting was intended to illustrate to the masses that God’s love extends to those who are rejected by society and condemned by law. I intend to delegate psychosocial knowledge and suggest constructive behaviors in my work. I am completing a B.A. in Psychology degree from Northeastern Illinois University and have earned a A.A. degree from Wilbur Wright College in 2006. I have studied art academically at both universities, independently form literature and practice, and privately in apprenticeship with my mom, Anna Jelen, M.F.A., since early childhood. My educational experiences equipped me with a solid literary and artistic background to accomplish my psychosocial and contemporary paintings and they remain an active influence upon my work. In composing my art, I review latest research and literature on a topic that I think is socially or psychologically significant. I draft several sketches in deciding how to visually communicate this knowledge in original applied narratives. Research functions as support and reference for the predominant themes of positive action, hope, love, peace and understanding in my work. In order to address a diverse audience with positive messages, I utilize traditional and contemporary painting styles, reference social sciences, current events and everyday situations. I aim to maximize the informative potential of my work, to stress its emotionally charged presentation and to continually improve upon its technical and aesthetic appeal.
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