“Kicks” for Emmalie

Emmalie requested that I paint a pair of sneakers in graffiti style. She had seen an old painting of mine, and really liked how it looked:

adolf shoes
Old shoe painting for Adolf

Here are the shoes she wants me to paint:

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I found this great art online and was inspired by the look:




So, I’ve started painting…


I started with the background first. I will add some flesh tones to the legs, and darken out the shoes themselves. But so far, I think it looks great.



“The Kids” for Emmalie: Complete

Here’s the final version of Emmalie’s requested portrait!



I added color to the background with light washes, which overlapped the kids just a little and deepened the saturation.



I decided not to outline the entire work in black, but you’ll see that I did outline the outer edges of their heads and the bottom of their busts. With touches of drips and drops, the painting was complete!

I think it’ll look nice framed, with an olive green, brown, navy, or maroon matting.

Here is a close-up:


I believe he has brown eyes, but I thought it would be fun to add blue, and a tiny bit of green. They look much more blue in these photos than when viewing the painting in person.

It’ll ship on Monday.

kidsin hands


“The Kids” for Emmalie: Progress 2



Now, we’re cooking!

I still have to put the final wash over the entire thing, where I’ll introduce more color. Then I might do the black marker outline- we’ll just have to see how it looks after the wash.

You can see the different colors in the painting by taking a closer look:


Lots of greens in Baby. The portrait’ll be finished by this weekend!


“The Kids” for Emmalie: Progress

Here’s the latest progress on Emmalie’s painting…




It looks like a mess at this stage! Don’t worry, it will not look like this in the end. The colors I added will be mostly covered by more skin-tones. I thought it would be fun for you to see what a mess it looks like during the painting.

After that next layer of skin-tones…

I’m probably going to lighten the painting all around, and then finish with a wash of color- to bring the watercolor fade back to the composition.  I really liked how it looked in the beginning! I want to bring that feel back at the end.

Here’s what it looked like in the beginning:



Adding more color (the greens, reds, and navys) to their faces, and then replicating the wash from the beginning will bring back that water-color style, but modernize the look.  It will be less like a photograph and more like a modern painting.

After adding the wash, I might trace strategic lines in black ink. I know that sounds strange… and I don’t quite have a picture to illustrate to you what the end result will be, but I think it will look fantastic. I don’t want to paint something that  anyone can reproduce. I want it to look unique.

This painting may take longer than I anticipated, but I think the end result will be worth the time.



Portrait Project #5: Karla

Karla has the best dimples. I tried to look for a photo of her that showcased them and her pearly whites. I found this beautiful one:


It doesn’t quite show-off her dimples, but I think it’s nice and natural. I think it will look great in very simple, earthy colors… like navy or black.

I know. Her significant other was in the picture to her left, and I cut him out… But, I’m not remorseful. It’s Karla’s time to shine.

Here’s the first layer:


I plan to darken it quite a bit. I like how her face seems to be emerging from the shadows of her hair.


Portrait Project #4: Emily is Complete

Here’s the final version of Emily’s portrait that I started a while back. I kept the blue lips!

emily finished

Her eyes are also blue. Does anyone think I have a career in creating adult coloring books? I really enjoyed this one; it was like a coloring book with paints.

I met with Emily over brunch to deliver the painting. You can get a sense of it’s size by seeing it next to the mimosa and menu. Funny, we didn’t even drink tequila.


There was no envelope this time, since I delivered it in person; just a business card.

emily finished w card


“The Kids” for Emmalie

kids comp


Emmalie commissioned a special painting of her nephews, perhaps for herself or as a gift for her sister.

She really liked how I designed Diamond’s portrait, full of color:



I have decided to add the colors to “The Kids” delicately, in thin layers since they are so young; I also want to keep the painting whimsical, and layered water-colors always remind me of children’s books.

First, I will paint them in a traditional way, then I’ll add the fun strokes of color, and creative design. In the end, I want the picture’s edges to look  a little “incomplete” with strokes remaining after its completed.

I started off with a wash, a technique I usually reserve for oil paintings:


 The first layer:


Using light washes gives it a water-color feel.


Now’s about the time that I should add color, and all of those other really fun effects we see in Diamond’s painting.  I’ll also thicken the layers.