Portrait of a child

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Inspired by a brilliant photo

To paint a portrait of children is a joy! I recently had the possibility to be inspired by a photo of a child that a skilled Photographer has made. I did not want it to be a copy but more of an inspiration.

When I painted the portrait my focus was to make it softer and put the light on the hands. I also wanted the color more soft warm golden then the picture, still, I can see the likeness of the child on the photo even if it was not my main focus. I call the painting "Silent prayer". Oil, 65x45 cm.


How I made it

When I made the painting I used black gesso for the background before starting the portrait. Gesso dries faster than oil and is a good alternative to acrylic or tempera. I love painting on freehand not making up lines or other techniques, it is more of a challenge, and so much fun! I sketch the face and body with yellow ochre (Michal Harding) and a small brush. Then I start to paint with Isabey brush. I use these brushes in different sizes, one off my favorite brushes! You can find them and Michal Harding oil color at Färg, Elektravägen 18, Hägersten, Sweden, farg.nu

If you are interested in a course how to paint a portrait, you can order the course here: ninabjorkart

I used a warmer tone in the painting because I wanted the painting to be warmer in the colors than the photo. The hands were important to me, I love the way the child try to put her little fingers together, you can see in the photo she has a problem to put them together correctly. But there is no right or wrong when it comes to prayers, the only thing that is important is the heart, and the heart of a little child is always right. I wanted to capture that moment and the black huge emptiness around her, still safe, warm and aware of her true safety. May we never forget our childhood faith.

Love these brushes!

Portrait on comission

If you are interested in a portrait on commission, send a photo to me, more info and price contact me at; [email protected]

Or if you are interested in the painting above, contact me a here or at the same e-mail.


The painting is inspired by the skilled photographer Benny Byström, his photos are brilliant, see more here; bennybystrom.com