I love painting children but it is always wise to keep in mind the phrase "never work with children and animals" when you arrive for a first sitting. The key is flexibility. It helps to get children to sit to you doing something that interests them so the portrait is spontaneous and lively, reflecting their personality, not yours.
This was a family of seven grandchildren, cousins, and getting the likenesses of all the children to the same quality was always going to be the biggest challenge as it was inevitable they would be compared - for ever!
We had a lot of fun with the poses. Feisty Antonia loved showing off her Pony Club Rosettes, Aggie was "The perfect English Rose", barefoot in the garden, Christian plays Rugby for his school, so that was a no brainer, Imogen appeared cool and self possessed as the eldest, in full riding fig. Little Sam hardly noticed I was there during his favourite Dinosaur game and neither did Toby, who pulled a face when I arrived, reluctant to put aside the car he was repairing. He cheered up instantly when I said her could continue mending the car while I painted. Result one fairly exploded car and one fun painting. The family don't call him Professor for nothing.. wind forward thirty years and I've an inkling it is prescient, which is why I put some roses and the door key to the wine cellar in the background! The most laid back sitter was Thomas, relaxing with his Lab.