Hanne Lore Koehler:

"When composing a portrait, I prefer to see the child in his/her favorite environment as opposed to a formal living room setting. In my experience, when the child is relaxed and happy you can capture a more natural posture and cheerful expression. When I look at the happy faces in the portrait of our grandsons and their girlfriend I always catch myself smiling. But where you take your photo is your decision and I would be happy to paint your child however you like.

Contemporary portraiture, like today's lifestyle, is becoming less formal and rigid now that a subject can easily be captured in a natural composition with the aid of photography. Formal portraits of the past were generally rigid, sterile poses for the simple reason that a person would have to sit in one position for hours in order for the portrait artist to capture the nuances of his subject. Today's formal photographic portraits are still based on our perceptions of those formal oil paintings.

Just as life and technology have evolved over the past century, I believe that portrait art should also evolve, reflecting today's lifestyle and using today's technology. In my opinion, the artist with vision is the one who uses modern technology to his advantage. With the marvelous invention of the camera, it is no longer necessary for artists to expect their subjects to sit still for long, exhausting periods of time posing for a formal, rigid, unrealistic portrait. With the aid of modern technology, today's artist can paint action-packed detailed images from photographs to produce contemporary realistic and informal portraits. A child's portrait is more likely to evoke happy memories if the subject is engaged in a favorite activity in natural surroundings.

To be clear, I only use photographs as reference material for my original paintings, often producing detailed pencil drawings on the canvas before I paint. My portraits are hand-painted original paintings done by looking at a photograph of the subject as if the subject were sitting in my studio. They are NOT painted over top of a mechanically reproduced photograph."

Hanne Lore Koehler

Written and painted by , owner of Koehler Art Studio Gallery. An artist who has painted many watercolor, acrylic, oil paintings and murals of landscapes, portraits, still life, architectural and sports art, she is also an author and illustrator of children's books. You can find her on Google, follow her on Facebook and also on Twitter.

See also:

art with children playing
PAINTINGS OF CHILDREN ........ Gallery 4

sample portraits by portrait painter
ADULT PORTRAITS ........ Gallery 6

sample paintings by pet portrait painter
PET PORTRAITS ........ Gallery 7

caricature artist

sample paintings by house portrait painter
HOUSE PORTRAITS ........ Gallery 17

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Koehler Art Studio Gallery

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