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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Lacy portrait in progress 1 - Layouts: which is your favorite?

I’m starting a new portrait of Lacy for Betty K. Here are 8 possible rough-draft layouts. Which is your favorite one?

Lacy loved the water & hiking, so Betty wants Lacy portrayed in a river scene. Betty wrote:

“We live in Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains. We use to go hiking all the time. I have LOTS of pictures of her. I’m sending some of my favorites.”

Using my client’s photos, I start by creating very rough layouts with Photoshop. Just to show them how their portrait might look. Their feedback helps me understand the look and feel that is meaningful to them.

Combining the best shots of Lacy with different background photos, I created 8 layouts for Betty to look at. #1 and #2 are examples of a head study with a scene behind it....



Using this river photo I’d have to invent more of the scene at the top and sides.

I created 6 different full-body poses with different river backgrounds….


Betty sent lots of river photos that were great scenes with Lacy playing in them, but very busy with rocks and trees. For a portrait I restricted my choices to scenes where there was simple open space in the middle where Lacy would stand out as the main feature.


This scene was built from a composite of three different photos.

I told Betty I could make Lacy standing in water. These crude layouts are just to show the basic concept and find out what the client likes.



Betty had said she would consider a “collage” with both a head-study and full-body of Lacy.

That adds to the cost of course, being that it’s actually two portraits.


Same layout as #6 but I made this to show an example of how to save money on a double portrait. The background scene being done as a single-color drawing reduces the cost.


This is also a double portrait, with the head study done as a single-color, and the scene in full color.

I suggested adding green summer leaves on the trees and I could make the rays of light very beautiful.

⭐️ Of these 8 layouts which would you choose?


#8 was the one Betty liked the best.


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