9x12 acrylic on canvasI have been using the excuse of dashing off sketches in order to convince myself that they didn't need to be "perfect" and that my scratchy brushwork was acceptable. But I decided it was time to try for a more finished portrait, and I chose for a subject my youngest son, Zach. Back from a trip to France, I picked up acrylics for a change, trying to find my sea legs after the hiatus, and they do dry faster, making blending a little harder, so maybe oils might have been a better choice for putting my skills to a real test. And I wasn't about to spend days and days on this; it took about four hours. I might dab at it some more, blending away some of the grosser shortcomings, but I think I really need to admit that this is about my skill level at this point: it's not a painting that will hang in a gallery, but it is a damn fair likeness, and that's been my goal all along, so I'm going to declare victory and move on about my business.