Friday, March 29, 2013

Portrait #25 - Self-Portrait

6 x 6 oil on panel

I just felt it right to finish up this series with a self-portrait. I sort of feel like I am taking the easy way out to choose a pose with sunglasses. But as it turns out, there aren't many photos of me I like much. I'll have to work on that. I would like to do another and tackle my eyes too. 

Thanks to EVERYONE who visited, commented and contributed! I so appreciate it. I know I had some highs and lows with this series. And even though I didn't paint every day for the last five weeks, I painted every day I was home and could possibly paint. I have always admired people who could paint for 100 days or more consecutively. But now I have even more admiration for that task. I think I hit my limit!

I think it's time to clean the house and go shopping for food. I'll be back soon!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Portrait #24 - Jed

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is another one of my favorite people in the world. He is husband to Sarah, and father to Declan, and my son. I had to dig deep for a photo of him. I did another one similar to this a while ago. 

Struggling a bit right now. I was rear-ended yesterday which threw me off my game. No one was hurt thank goodness. Just shaken up a bit. And now wrapped up with the time consuming tasks of estimates. 

Only one more portrait to go!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Portrait #23 - Sarah

6 x 6 oil on panel

This photo shows Sarah's right side a bit bluer than it really is in the painting. Something about this one made it hard to take an accurate photo. Could it be the extreme darks and lights throwing the meter off?

I really liked the lighting on Sarah even if it was just lamplight. Her face was glowing warm tones under her hair which was a lot of fun to paint. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Portrait #22 - Mel

6 x 6 oil on panel

Such a hard one I took on here! That crazy smile and the shape of the eyes were going to make the likeness in this one. I'm not sure I nailed either one exactly. But I got closer than the last time I tried to paint her. I do like how the glasses turned out, and how you can see part of the nose through the lens. The eyes were fun to do also. I exaggerated the color throughout. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Portrait #21 - Karina Again - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

A smaller Karina with her daddy here. I liked the composition on this one. Just a little glimpse of both of them together is very sweet. A little different. 

Another lesson learned... I am going to limit my portraits of babies. This is the last one for a while. For me It's more about a moment, a gesture, or interesting composition. The right photo will make me change my mind. But for now I'll try to keep to the 2+ crowd.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Portrait #20 - Sienna Again - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

It was all about the eyes in this one! Getting the values right for the convincing 'straw sucking' expression was a lot of fun. Making myself put it down and leave it alone was a huge challenge. Larger brushes, more paint, warm and cool tones in the flesh... I feel pretty good about this one!

Five more portraits to go! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Portrait #19 - Ryker Again

6 x 6 oil on panel

So as I near my last week of portraits I'm starting to learn some lessons. One is that I'm spending way to much time on these little paintings. So with that in mind, the next few will be kept to 3 hours max as I try to simplify faster and use larger brushes. I might not get everything perfect but I think it will make better more interesting paintings. I'm also not mixing up enough paint. I need to load more paint on my palette and keep things loose. I did a bit better on Ryker Again above. I really like adding the warm and cool tones. Trying to capture how he holds his mouth was very fun. I got close. I didn't put as much time into the hair as I would have... but that is okay. That isn't what was important in this small capture. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Portrait #18 - Murphy - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel
I only received a couple pet photos for this project. I chose this one because of the wonderful light and shadow patterns. I painted Murphy on a red panel and let it show through in many places. I kept my brushes big and just had fun. What a great subject he is and I hear he is the sweetest of boys. He looks it!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Portrait #17 - Julia & Oliver

6 x 6 oil on panel

For this one time I put two faces on the 6 x 6 panel. I just couldn't turn down trying to paint these twins! They look like a handful of fun if you ask me. Julia was all full of pinks and blues, when Oliver was full of olives and oranges! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Portrait #16 - Miranda - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

Starting week 4 of my project with just one more week to go! I loved working with all the warm tones in this painting. I found that I really enjoy putting olives and reds together. The nice natural lighting helped bring out some fun colors in her hair and skin. I just noticed I forgot to add the earring!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Portrait #15 - Amy

6 x 6 oil on panel

I'm keeping this one. This is one of my favorite people in the world. She is a talented artist, mom, wife, and my daughter. Amy/Crymson Flower uses beads and wire to create amazing things. You can read her blog by clicking her name. I've decided to keep this one for now.

The lighting in this photo was pretty interesting. We were under a tent at Octoberfest last year. I'm not sure if this was before or after she did the chicken dance with her son Ryker. It was a very fun day and I loved using these colors! Even though she dislikes the periwinkle color I used for the background, I just love it. I guess I must of dressed her in it too often as a child.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Portrait #14 - Bill - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

I can't believe I'm at #14 and am over half way done with this challenge. I loved doing this one. I kept it very loose and didn't worry about everything being in exactly the right place. I see things I would change or do different. But I left it and I'm glad I did.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Portrait #13 - Gentry

6 x 6 oil on panel

It looks like Gentry is learning to swim! I couldn't resist this photo of him at the pool. Lots of wonderful teal shades to play with. I think I mixed viridian into all the colors in this painting. I toned the board with orange this time in order to neutralize the water color. I left a bit of this orange peaking through in his hair. 

I have been so self absorbed with this project I've really neglected checking out everyone's blog posts and responding to emails in a timely way. Please be patient with me. I'm also trying to register my business and figure out taxes. Not something that comes easy for me at all! I'll be doing a few art shows this year so figuring out which ones and knowing what to do about taxes is turning out to be very time consuming. I just purchased Brenda Ferguson's ArtByte on how to make her Art Fair Booth Display. There are a lot of great tips there. I really recommend her tutorial if you ever need a display for small paintings. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Portrait #12 - Hugo

6 x 6 oil on panel

Hugo has such soulful eyes! I just love how they droop a bit at the outer edge. This is Avani's little brother who I've also painted before in sunglasses. But I think it is a mistake to ever avoid painting his eyes again. 

There wasn't a lot of strong light on his face so I mixed up samples of my colors and values ahead in order to make sure I could model his face convincingly and not leave it flat looking like some photos make it. His hair was a lot of fun to do. I kept this painting a little looser than some of the others. I'm not sure I nailed the placement of everything, but overall I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Portrait #11 - Maddie again - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is Maddie again. I painted her earlier and really wanted to give her another shot. I feel like this painting is more successful because it gives you a feeling of the atmosphere around her. The wind is blowing her hair and the sky is overcast. I like that. I think it helps you remember the day and the moment better.

I've had a few questions about my process with these portraits. So briefly, I start with a toned 6 x 6 panel. For this painting I toned in black acrylic. I spend a lot of time in photoshop enhancing the photo as much as I can. I adjust exposure, saturation, and brightness. I then crop the photo to a 6 x 6 format. I mark my panel down the center vertically and horizontally. With the portraits I also add a couple more vertical & horizontal marks so that there is a large grid. This helps me get the features in the right place especially for the subjects I don't know personally. Using this many grid lines can cause my painting to tighten up compared to some of my other paintings. So I try to use as few lines as possible. I do not draw the face on the panel first. I just start painting. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Portrait #10 - Chris

6 x 6 oil on panel

Chris is Ryker's dad. I have more photos of him playing guitar which I hope to paint from. I think those could be a lot of fun to do. But for this portrait I cropped it close and focused on the light/shadow patterns on his face. He likes to write, record, and play his own music in his spare time. You can hear his recordings at He will be posting a lot of new work on his site later this month.

I had a lot of fun with the spiky hair thing he has going! And working out how to paint that stubbly beard was interesting. Overall I'm very happy with this one. I really like the warm glow he had under his brows and nose. Those are always  my favorite spots.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Portrait #9 - Elsie - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

Elsie has the rosiest cheeks! I think maybe she is cold but having too much fun to go inside! This is artist Cindy McDonough's young daughter. You can check out her blog and all her wonderful paintings by clicking her name. Cindy was another one of the many artists that did Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30. She does some amazing figures and portraits. 

This was such a great photo! I was tempted to keep the snowman in because I really liked the shapes it created. But the panels are only 6 x 6 and I didn't want to cram too much in. So I cropped to the rosie face. This is the first knit hat I've painted... so simplifying that was interesting. I'm really learning a lot. My biggest challenge is still knowing when to stop an leave things alone. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Portrait #8 - Eileen - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

I really want to thank Eileen for sending this great photo for me to paint. Eileen has only been blogging since December, but she was a part of Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 and she has some wonderful paintings you should really check out on her blog at

When I got this photo I thought, cool more sunglasses. I don't have to struggle with eyes. This shouldn't be too hard! Well boy was I wrong! She has this slight tilt to her head, and that curve of her right cheek had to be right on. Not to mention all those teeth! I hope I did her justice on this. It was definitely fun to do even with all those challenges.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Portrait #7 - Avani - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

Avani Moon is always so much fun to paint. I've painted her before. All her personality is bursting out in every photo. I wonder what she is so proud of here. This looks like a girl I would like to know better!

All this shadow on her face gave me so much trouble!! I fell in love with this photo and tried and tried to make the painting perfect like the photo. I think I am much better off if I don't fall in love with photo and instead wait to fall in love with the painting. There is just more freedom in that. I'm thinking of putting this one on my list of paintings to redo on a bigger scale.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Portrait #6 - Ryker

6 x 6 oil on panel

Starting my second week of portraits and I'm back to a familiar face to try to loosen up a bit. This Mr. Cool is my oldest grandson. I did this in about 2 hours. It was fun to loosen up a bit. This time I'm showing the full photo so you can see how I crop it in to fit on these small panels. I think I still got a pretty good likeness even with the quick brushwork. It was hard to take a real good photo of this because of the dark background. All the darks are a bit exaggerated in the photo.