This is Leslie. She and my wife work together and have become good friends over the past 2 or 3 years. She's a great cook and hostess and pulls together the most fabulous parties. Occasionally, I'll come home and Leslie and Valerie will be hanging out playing cards or working and it will morph into Leslie making the most awesome dinner from the simplest ingredients.
This portrait felt different for me. For one thing, I decided to change over to acrylics from watercolor within the first few minutes of starting to paint. I wanted more texture or character than watercolor could give me. Secondly, I tried and, at least on some level, succeeded to let go of my usual attempts to appeal to do a portrait that she would like. I've been noticing this "concern for what others will think" almost always creeps in with these "live" portraits and affects them to some degree. So lately I've been trying to buck this concern believing that it "compromises" the portrait on some level. Maybe, by using a less familiar medium, I took my mind off one thing ("concern for what others will think") and put it toward dealing with the more technical and mundane issues of getting paint to do what I wanted. Regardless, I'm happy with the freedom I felt in doing this portrait.
12x16 acrylic and ink in my huge Moleskine sketchbook.