In 2004 I entered a juried competition called “Art Between Cultures.” It was held at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at Indiana University. I was selected as one of the exhibitors. I had submitted several paintings, and they chose two. This one isn’t one that was chosen, but I really like it anyway.
I had a very good friend who had small children and I asked if I could go to her home and take several pictures of them to give me inspiration. When I got there we had a hard time getting them to give me good poses. They were interested in doing other things. Finally the mother brought out a cd player and turned on the music. We told them we needed them to have a “jumping contest.” This really worked, as you can see in the painting.
My technique in bringing them to life was to emphasize the light and shadows on their faces, the shadows under them on the ground, putting wrinkles in their clothing, and making sure I had smiles on their faces.