Portrait Painting at the Fair

As the superintendent of the art gallery at the county fair, I got to hang out most of last week at the show. To take advantage of the time I brought along some acrylic paint and canvas panels to work on a series of portraits that has been on my to-do list for months now – everyone at work!

And so, in black and white on 8×10 panels, the team at the Art Supply House.


The series isn’t done – but I ran out of both time and canvas. As a warm-up I started with my favorite subject – my wife!


Which Witch?

I’ve been having fun playing with my watercolors, and decided to try a new type of project. While I have a comfortable grasp on drawing portraits, I haven’t spent much time adding color to them.

While my sis-n-law was visiting and trying on a hat that I crocheted, I snapped a quick photo of her. Currently in the middle of re-reading the Harry Potter books, it occurred to me that the image would make a great illustration of a witch.

I quickly sketched her out and added some color to the sketch. Definitely not my best drawing, but as a proof-of-concept for a new-ish style and the addition of color, it worked fairly well.

After years of practice capturing every detail and trying to draw realistic images, I am trying to develop a looser, sketchy style. I love the zig-zags in the hat and the wrinkles in the bottom right corner of the shirts, so I’m making progress.

A fun experiment, one well worth repeating.

Pizza the Size of Her Head!

Checking in on friends on facebook, I ran across this picture of Emily. Thought it was fun and decided to draw it. Emily, hope you enjoy! ūüėÄ


And here are a couple of in-progress pictures:

First, the sketch in pencil, to help me get proportions correct before laying down ink.

The drawing in-progress – Still have to draw the pizza toppings (mostly different pepper slices) and add some depth to her hair.

Sketching at Cumberland Coffee Roasters

During a delightful day with the rare combination of warm, sunny weather, Ashley being off work and awake during the day, we enjoyed time wandering about town together and stopped by my favorite coffee shop in the Fayetteville area for a break.

While Ashley caught up on some emails I quickly sketched¬†my favorite model. Perhaps a bit too quickly. If I were titling sketches, this one would be¬†Why The Long Face seeing as how I stretched her nose and hand a bit too much in my haste. Never-the-less, it’s always fun to get a sketch in. ūüėÄ

The Trixie Trilogy

Mom asked for a portrait of her new favorite child, her dog Trixie (a puptrait?) While my sister and I have been replaced -le sigh-¬†at least Trixie is cute.¬†Here’s the process from draft to finished sketch.

I started with pencil in order to work out proportions and¬†general placement – especially with all of the strands of hair, trying to make sure ahem every hair is in it’s place.

Then I pulled out my drawing pens and began to go over the sketch, adding more detail as I went.

While most of the lines are done with an 05 Micron, I also used an 08 for really solid areas like eyes and nose and the 03 for finer details such faint shadows.

Getting closer! Just a few more details, now.

And the final step is to go back and erase the sketch guide-lines so that only the ink remains.

Add a signature, write a note to accompany it, and then carefully pack it and send it on for Mom and Gary to enjoy!

Ashley’s new favorite hat

For Christmas, niece Bailee received a hand-made (with love!) hat from Aunt Joni. Ashley really liked it and was, dare I say, jealous. For giggles, she pretended like she might be taking it with her when we pulled out. We snapped a picture and, instead of drawing the cafeteria the other morning I sketched out Ashley enjoying Bailee’s gift. ūüėÄ

Joni loved that Ashley loved it, and we’re eagerly awaiting the mail man’s arrival. He’s supposed to be delivering a hat of her very own some time later today. ūüėÄ

Old Portraits

My focus while in art school was figurative work, which built on a few years of working as a portrait artist. Here are a few blasts from the past:

The superhero was drawn with chalk on black paper in 2011. Entering it into the 2012 National Arts Program netted me a Best of Show award.

A friend posted this picture as her facebook profile image. I thought it would be great fun to recreate with some charcoal in 2010.

Another facebook profile image, Bethany has really bright blue eyes, and she happened to be wearing a matching dress. Charcoal and pastel in 2010.

My wife modeled while I explored a new take on an old concept. This triptych was painted on canvas with acrylic in 2010.