Last summer I started accepting kids’ portrait commissions. They’re fun, excellent drawing practice, and make unique family gifts. Initially I thought “Oh, I love the looseness and energy of drawing from life, so I won’t work from photos unless I have to – wherever possible I’ll have a sitting with the kids to really get their likeness and personality!” Then I did my first commission, drawing my friend’s four boys one afternoon at their home. A ‘sitting’ was all very well for the older two brothers, but for the younger two it was completely out of the question. Energetic, happy and playful little boys, they wouldn’t stay in one spot for longer than a few seconds, and while I like to think I’m a pretty fast sketcher, the best I could do was dash off a few fleeting impressions here and there. I pulled these sketches and observations together into these two pencil drawings, which I coloured using photoshop. After that I was completely comfortable working from photos, especially for portaits of wriggly little kids!