I love painting portraits... I really do! But this one was particularly difficult. First, Anastasia is just a toddler, so that in itself is a huge challenge... I wanted to make her look as "fresh" and innocent as she is in real life.
Secondly, this was very first portrait done in Oils (actually, more like my first successful painting of any subject in Oils...). Coming from a Watercolor background, this was a huge leap for me.
And lastly, her demeanor in the reference photo wasn't exactly what most people would like to see in a child (I don't know how many times I kept getting comments like "But she looks so sad?", and "What was she pouting about?"). Personally, I loved her facial expression, and that's why I chose it for my painting. After all, I am the artist, right? :D
All in all, I was pretty happy with the painting, especially seeing how it was my first and all. I did give it to her parents for a Christmas gift, framed and all, and they were just speechless. They now having it hanging in their main living room, and anyone walking through the front door immediately sees it. That makes me happy :D