Angelito, 11″ x 14″ Oil on canvas, framed by the artist

Angelito has a ready smile, like he has a secret that he might be willing to share. Meanwhile, he will keep us guessing.

This was a paint-along project with one of my private students, who wanted to learn about portraiture by painting her grandson. I usually recommend starting with strangers, when learning portraiture, so we don't feel the pressure to get an exact likeness. Painting requires a certain objectivity. Fortunately, she and I worked on a few other projects before tackling this one. She didn't want me to share her work on this project, so you will have to take my word, hers turned out better than mine!

I do love this process of teaching, where I demonstrate the various technical skills and then gently guide my private students, like Maureen, celebrating as they add new skills, one at a time. We created an accurate underpainting and build an impasto using the power palette, juxtaposing like valued hues to create the luminous flesh tones. I like his expression very much. He seems about to say something we need to hear. The angle of his head and the glint in his eye seems to be asking a question to which he already has the answer.

Although she didn't want to share her painting, she was very kind in sharing her words:

"Your eye for seeing this child was right on. He is an extremely intelligent young man. He is a builder, wants to be an engineer. He builds cities in his house with train sets, building blocks of all kinds. I can’t walk anywhere when I go over there! And they have a really big house lol.

I really do appreciate you and what this instruction is doing to lift up my artwork to a higher level. As an artist, this has been a dream come true, to be able to understand light and shadows. You’re a very special teacher.I thank you." -" -- Maureen Gonzalaz

Commission a portrait by Robert Maniscalco

Additional information

Type of Work

Original Painting by Robert Maniscalco, Giclee – archival inks, stretch on canvas, Artists Proof (AP) – archival inks and paper


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