Portrait artist paints a mom and baby in watercolor

Baby Carrier / by Jessie Rasche / 3.5 x 5.5 in / available in my gallery of available paintings / inquire / Love It Guarantee

This is my first completed watercolor painting since the workshop I took last weekend with Stan Miller. What Stan taught about composition really resonated with me, and I’ve realized how I can better follow my heart in this area. And more importantly he gave me structure and ideas for evaluating my compositions that I didn’t have. Anyways, can you tell the difference in my composition? What do you think? I’m happy, and I might make a big oil painting from this small work.


6 thoughts on “Portrait artist paints a mom and baby in watercolor”

  1. Thank you Jonni!!! For those of you who don’t know, Jonni is my mom, and is also the author of UltimatePaperMache.com, an extremely popular paper mache art blog.

  2. The composition is really interesting, actually. First, I love the way you’ve handled the watercolor, with your customary restraint.
    There are so many strong darks and bright light areas that draw the eye in and around, between the complex interaction around the mother’s face, then the crossing straps of the pack, then the diagonally opposed darks at the base and in the upper right corner. I keep wanting to scootch the “window” over to the right a bit, as the mother’s strongly bright diagonal arm leads me off there, and the direction she seems to be walking away leads my attention as well. It’s both intimate and fleeting; a moment glimpsed literally in passing. What was your intent with having the areas we’re most used to thinking of as “central” (the faces/expressions of the subjects) so far away from the center?

    The composition of this painting almost makes it an abstract, or makes the subject matter less important than the shapes without their meaning. Does that make sense? That’s not a value judgement, to be clear. I like the painting, and the tension of the wanting to move so I can see more of it is interesting.

    I look forward to seeing more of your watercolor work!

  3. Thank you Xan! You’ve said what I’m trying to do here more eloquently thank I could. I was sort of demoting the subject matter and making it much more abstract while keeping the subject realistic… I’m working towards a style where you have to search a little bit to see what a painting’s about.

    Thanks again for the comment! And everyone, check out Xan’s great artwork!

  4. I love the looseness of brushwork and the accuracy of drawing in this piece, and how you dealt with the lost and found edges, such as the linkage of the shadow on her back neck and her collar. It did not show the face yet the expression through her body posture is both vivid and captivating. I would love to see more of your watercolor! (I love your oils too, but since I paint in watercolor I am always so excited to see beautiful watercolor work!)

    I am also an admirer of Stan Miller’s work. Thank you for sharing your experience in the workshop. I think I will try to take one with him this year…


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