JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Portrait of boho.sunshine on 12 April 2018

Miranda wanted me to paint a portrait of her! Okay, we take this from the beginning. It started with a travel blogger that I am following on Instagram. Her name is Susi Cruzz. She asked a simple question "What is for you the meaning of life?" It is such a simple question but how do you formulate a meaningful answer?

What would you answer?

Now instead of getting an answer from Susi, I got an answer from Miranda (boho.Sunshine) part of the artist duo The Manuka Set.

Miranda sounds like such a positive person. This is how it works on the Internet sometimes. You talk to one person and another person answers. That is great. It is as if you are in a large virtual room and people can talk to each other. That flatter of Miranda worked on me - and look at her, she is beautiful, so I decided on doing a painting for her.

Thursday evening arrived, and I got to the aquarelle-club, and I started by browsing the Instagram stream of boho.sunshine. I found one selfie of her perhaps taken at the hairdresser with portraits of hair models in the background. Since she is an artist, it can be a singer on the wall behind her as well. Her head was tilted, but I missed that and made a drawing upright. Already by doing this, I created an extra challenge for myself.

Then I made the complete painting at the aquarelle-club. I was not especially happy with the result. The other artists at the club thought it was a lovely painting, but they said that perhaps it did not look precisely like Miranda. Was there something about the mouth or? The artists tonight were Rita, Petra, Hilde, Hetty, Ina and me.

When I came home, I decided to look what I could do to improve the painting. I did this in five steps. The steps are displayed here below.


  1. In this step, you can see the painting as it looked like when I came home from the aquarelle-club.
  2. I had missed the chin line grossly. Miranda got a much more elegant chin line than my initial painting. With that changed, the painting improved considerably. She has light falling on an area above her mouth. I had made that same area too small. I tried to make it smaller, but the paint had sunk into the paper and become permanent. In this step, I also made her right eye more pronounced.
  3. I had made the left side of the nose of Miranda too small (seen from the camera). The old line for the nose I could make slightly lighter so that it became the new shadow on the nose.
  4. It was difficult to accept that I had made the light area too small so I tried to give her a shadow on her cheek a bit higher up. In this step I also gave her an eyebrow higher up because the previous was much too low.
  5. In this step, I made her right nostril a tiny little bit bigger.

If this had been an oil-painting or acrylic, then I had been able to go on another 40 steps, but this was aquarelle. With aquarelle, you cannot go on forever. There is a limited set of chances given to create the painting. When starting lighter and then building up darker and darker it is possible to overturn earlier layers of paint. On the other hand, you still got a limited amount of possible layers. Aquarelle is simply the most challenging paint method there is!

Miranda happy - I am happy. Now on to the next painting - bringing with me what I learned on this painting.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.