Grandchildren Sledging in Scotland—A Case Study


Hello Nomi,

I like what I’ve seen on your website, how your artist’s eye looks at a good photo and transforms it into a wonderful painting.

I am interested in having you paint a portrait of our grandchildren sledging near their home in Edinburgh. My wife’s birthday is in March and I want to surprise her.

I’ve attached the reference photo that I would like you to use. I’m very happy to leave the fine details of the painting to you.


West Yorkshire, England


Reference Photo:

Sledging??? Must be a typo, right? I looked it up. Silly me! Sledging is the UK word for what we in the US call “sledding.”


Hello Neil,

Thank you for trusting me to turn your darling sledging photo into a stunning painting. I do have some changes in mind and would also appreciate additional photos of the children that better show their eyes. The glare of the snow made them squint.

Looking forward to working with you,


More Reference Photos


Closeups from Neil of his grandchildren


Want to see how the portrait for Neil progressed?

Work in Progress

In my preliminary drawing, I rotated the children clockwise but brought their heads a little closer together. I eliminated the dark sledge that Neil’s grandson was gripping and began to paint.


I flipped Neil’s grandson’s left-hand glove in the drawing, as a model for the glove on his right-hand. That’s “insider information!”


For a feeling of the sledge’s velocity, I raised and foreshortened Neil’s granddaughter’s arms and tightened up the leash she is holding with her gloves. But then I couldn’t see all of her snow boots in the reference photo, so I searched online and luckily found them pictured on the Land’s End site.



Even though the landscape was very pretty, I wanted the children to be larger in the design, with no distracting elements other than their shadows and the path. Interesting to me how the perspective changed.



To show momentum, I tightened Neil’s granddaughter’s grip on the leash by darkening the shadows on her pink gloves and curling her fingers under. Because the kids were the first ones on this route, I brushed over the path I had painted ahead of them. I added the snowflakes to show the action of speeding down a snowy hill.

The Birthday Surprise!




We are over the moon with the grandchildren’s portrait. As you can see from Janet’s photo, it was the perfect birthday surprise. I think it’s amazing how you painted it as though the kids are flying down the hill and not just sitting at the bottom as in the reference photo. They look great. Glad I ordered an additional painting for their house too. Our custom framer is closed now due to the pandemic shutdown, but we’ll send you photos when the framed portrait is finally on the wall. Can’t wait!

Thanks again,


Hi Nomi

Hope you are well. Still wonderful to wake up each morning  and see your fabulous picture.
Best wishes for Christmas and 2022.
Neil and Janet
West Yorkshire,


I love knowing that the portrait paintings I create will be cherished for generations to come … perhaps by Neil and Janet’s grandchildren’s grandchildren!

I hope you’ll contact me when you’re planning a one-of-a-kind surprise gift for your special someone.

If you have questions or would like to be placed on my schedule, please visit my Contact page.
Phone: 805-985-3579