Portrait for Kassie: Complete

It took a few tries to finally get the colors and background just right, but I really like the outcome. I’m delivering this one in person, so there’s no mysterious envelope picture in my post.


Portrait for Kassie finishedsmall1

Here’s a progression of the background and final layers:



You can see all the subtle differences between them. The edges were done in a matching reddish-brown:



Sepia is a difficult color to capture, and I found out there are many different types… ranging from yellow, to orange, to brown. I chose a reddish-brown, but it looks more yellow in sunlight. I think it’s a great color that will match most rooms. I like how it looks in my living room.






Portrait for Kassie: Progress 

I might have to stop everything I’m working on, and do a portrait of Prince. 
As I continued working on the Portrait for Kassie, I noticed the sepia tones I was using were a bit too scattered. I don’t want the painting to have multiple colors; the idea is for the work to have a single sepia color, with varying degrees of dark and light. 

So, I created one sepia tone, and decided to wash the whole painting with the color. 

The wash will allow me to start fresh with color, and yet keep the work I’ve done so far.

Here are some close-ups of the progress: 

I want the background to be more blended into the subjects, to make the entire painting more cohesive. I might darken the background to match the darker tone of the subjects… but I am leaning more toward lightening Kassie’s friend and her dog. For example, her shirt and hair would be lightened, as would the dog’s face and nose. I think a lighter painting would look better inside a typically decorated home/apartment. Dark paintings can be very jarring on white walls. 


Portrait for Kassie

Kassie requested a portrait of a good friend of hers and her friend’s beloved dog. She sent me a few photos to sort through, and I created a composite that combined the best features of each photo.

kassie composite editing

Here’s the composite. It gives an idea of what the finished painting will look like, and  helps me ensure that the scaling is correct. Sometimes putting one face on another body doesn’t work out very well. This one, of course, looks just fine.


Kassie suggested sepia tones, which I think will look great. The brown tone will  give the painting a nice a earthy, natural, and classic look. Unlike the composite, will be painting the friend with her hair down, and will also fill in the background with color.

I want the painting to have a Van Gogh impressionist style, must like I painted Francisco:

francisco finished

But without the blue tones.

Here is the first layer:



I may have to add more black and white to get the right tone of sepia.


Traveling… so much traveling

I’ve not posted in a week or so, due to so much traveling! Between DC, NYC, Cancun, Harlingen TX… life’s been a whirlwind.

Despite the travel, and subsequent sore throat (for some reason there’s yelling involved in dancing in Cancun), I’ve managed to do some creative projects, as I tend to do.

David Bowie 1

I started a David Bowie painting a few weeks ago, and lately added a new layer. I don’t quite like the painting yet… and I’m trying to figure out a way that I can grow to like it. In essence, this painting is simply not my style. To be truthful, I’d have preferred to paint a different photo of David Bowie. However, I attempted to paint this one on a request I received, and after all, it is an iconic album cover. I think, in time, I can fix it so that it is more enjoyable for me, but for now it remains as is:

David Bowie


I also made T-shirts for some very good friends of mine who are tying the knot soon. I tried to make the shirts as silly as possible. Initially, I thought to put “I heart ___” on each shirt, one for the bride and one for the groom. But, it occurred to me, upon seeing photos of them with a prop parrot, that I had to include some pictures.

kuba shirt

I did not take very good photos of the shirts; I apologize. This above is the bride’s. The groom’s was similar, but green, with the bride throwing a kiss to the parrot.

I also made a cauliflower pizza at some point over the past few weeks. It was a very ambitious undertaking, and we were dangerously close to starting a massive fire, but it came out beautifully.


Finally, I’ve been taking practice photos of my artwork for Instagram. Yes, I’m on Instagram now. It took a while for me to really understand it… and I’m still proceeding very slowly, with overt caution, toward this new social medial frontier. I’ve realized it could be a great tool for my artwork, so I continue the journey. Here are some of the shots I’ve taken:


I really want my Instagram to have a style… I want to showcase my work in a way that reflects the mood of my art. It’ll take some practice to get one down. And, I haven’t mastered “hashtags” yet (I still call them number signs. As a human, I admit that I resist change), so don’t get too excited.