The Almost Portrait

Almost Portrait of Amber Dunlop by Sister Jessie DunlopThe Almost Portrait

Painted on a 9″ x 12″ baked birch canvas.

Intended portrait of the artist’s sister, Amber Dunlop.

Painting is based on a photograph that was taken a year ago, in a clothing store in Bristol, England.

Artist’s Statement:

“This was intended as a portrait of my younger sister Amber. Unfortunately, any one who knows my sister would tell you that this isn’t her. It actually resembles our mother…not quite sure how that happened. Guess I need to work on getting a better likeness!”

Quote: “Ha! It looks like mum.” Amber Dunlop

Portrait in Progress

Here are the steps that were involved in the painting of the “Almost Portrait”.

Portrait is painted in acrylic on a 9″ x 12″ baked birch canvas.

Art work was painted over the course of 21 hours (3 sessions) at Art House Penticton.

(Art House is a shared studio and art space where artists and crafters can come to work).


Background – Grass: Hookers green and Ultramarine Blue.

Background – Sky: Ultramarine blue mixed with white

Skin – Initially Cadmium Red, mixed with Primary Yellow and White. In final session: Burnt Sienna and White. Lips have touch of cadmium red.

Hair – Burnt Sienna and a touch of Ultramarine Blue.

Clothing – Ultramarine Blue, Hookers Green and a touch of white.


1. Sketch an outline of the figure onto the canvas using pencil, referring constantly to photo / source material.

2. Paint in the background, outlining the shape of the figure

3. Begin painting the facial features.

4. Paint the hair, and details.

5. Take a step back and evaluate the work.

6. Determine which features need to be altered to gain a better likeness. Paint, then re-evaluate.

6. Continue until you are happy with it!

(These photos are from the final painting session at Art House Penticton)


Close Up Art by Jessie Dunlop Penticton OkanaganClose Up Art by Jessie Dunlop Penticton OkanaganClose Up Art by Jessie Dunlop Penticton Okanagan

Close Up Art by Jessie Dunlop Penticton Okanagan

Note: The outlining technique was not adopted until after this painting was already well under way.

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