Friday, May 30, 2014


This is Lex. He is an Urban Sketching friend that lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I really want to meet him in person some day. He seems like a cool guy.

9"x12" pencil and watercolor.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


This is Allison. She was a student teacher at my high school in Houston, Texas. I had fun with this portrait.

9"x12" watercolor and pencil (with a heavy dose of Artrage).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


This is Pragmy. He is an Urban Sketching friend and lives in the Dominican Republic.

5" x 8" pencil and Artrage.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


This is Tracy. I looked for a picture of her where she wasn't smiling as big as the ocean to paint from but there weren't that many. The one I tried was agonizingly hard and just didn't capture her spirit so I started over with this one and it practically dripped off my brush. 

I read a list she wrote called "25 things about me". My favorite is #18 - "I bungee-jumped from the second highest platform in the world on Friday 13th, after milling about with black cats, spilling salt, and walking under ladders. I am more scared of missing out on life than I am of dying."

I sketched this in my Grand Portrait Handbook Journal (8" x 10.5") with pencil and watercolor.

Monday, May 26, 2014


This is John.When we were in the seventh grade we had a knock down, bloody fists and noses fight in the boys bathroom between classes. Then we went to the principles office and got paddled. Rough day. Now we're Facebook friends.

I sketched this in my Grand Portrait Handbook Journal 8" x 10.5". Pencil, watercolor, and a little bit of Artrage.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Steve and Christy

This is Steve and Christy. We met last year on the Futaleufu river in Chile last year. I wanted to paint something that captured their fun loving spirit. This does it...

9x12 watercolor and pencil.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


This is Wayne. We went to elementary school together. I remember being amazed and jealous that he had a girlfriend in the fifth grade. I think her name was Tonya. I also remember he had much more hair than he does now.
9"x12" Watercolor and Pencil.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


This is Paul. He's a painter friend - the artist kind - and he lives right around the corner. Sometimes I will go over to his studio and he'll make BLT's and we'll talk about art and architecture.
I sketched this in my Grand Portrait Handbook Journal (8"x10.5") with pencil and watercolor.

Monday, May 19, 2014


This is Erick. He's an urban sketching friend and he lives in Indonesia.

Sketched on my Samsung Note 10.1 tablet using the Sketchbook Pro app.

Friday, May 16, 2014


This is JP. I love his photos. A couple of years ago he posted a photo a day for a year. The photos are beautiful, compelling and invite contemplation. 

This portrait started as a pencil sketch but then moved to Artrage and was "painted" using the colors of the rainbow flag.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


This is Jack. A few years ago I went to Girona with some friends to do some cycling and Jack rented us a great apartment. He also took us to some wineries one day and shared some great stories of living in Spain.

9" x 12" watercolor and pen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


This is Deb. She has been a friend, coach and mentor to my son and a wonderful friend to me. I once challenged her to a tennis match and she kicked my ass.

8" x 10.5" watercolor and pencil in my sketchbook.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


This is Doug. He plays guitar and lives in an awesome old Victorian house in Rockport.
9" x 12" Pencil and watercolor

Monday, May 12, 2014


This is Don. He is an Urban Sketching friend and he lives in Singapore. He draws and posts his drawings on Facebook more than anybody I know. He is really good. 

I drew these in my sketchbook with a 4B pencil.

Friday, May 9, 2014


This is Jessie. She is one of my Urban Sketching friends. I met her a couple of years ago in Santo Domingo at a symposium on Urban sketching. She has a wiry haired dog named Pancho that inspired my approach to this portrait. I think it makes her look complex. Interesting, but complex.

I sketched this on my Samsung Note 10.1 tablet using the Sketchbook Pro app.


Open mic night at Highland Cafe in Thomaston, ME

Thursday, May 8, 2014


This is Amanda. She is an artist friend. I like her eyes though I don't think I quite captured her in this portrait. 

9"x12" watercolor and pencil with some Artrage.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


This is Neung. She guided me and 15 others through the jungles, mountains and oceans of Thailand a few years ago. I remember that she gave me 10 minutes to sketch the buddha in the roots in Ayutthaya. She ran a tight ship.

I sketched her portrait on my Samsung Note 10.1 using the Sketchbook Pro app

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Róisín is one of my Urban Sketching friends and she lives in Ireland.
9” x 12” Watercolor and pencil on Fluid watercolor paper.

Monday, May 5, 2014


This is Kathy. I have known her for about 30 years but I haven’t seen her in about 25. It’s funny - when she found out about this project, she was one of the first to comment and said “choose me, choose me!” It just so happened that my random method happened to select her. 

6” x 8” Watercolor and pencil.

Friday, May 2, 2014


Alessandro is one of my Urban Sketching friends. I sketched this on my Samsung Note 10.1 tablet using the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro App.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


This is LK - the first to be drawn in this journey of making 250 portraits of my facebook friends.
I drew this on a Samsung Note 10.1 using the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro app.

The Portrait Project

250 Friends.
250 Portraits.
One Year.

May 1, 2014

Today, I’m embarking on a year long project to make portraits of all 250 of my Facebook friends.
Here’s how it will work; About once a week for the next year I will randomly choose 5 friends to portray and find a photo or two of them from their photo pages to use as a reference. I may use paint or pencil or ink or I may do it using digital tools - a stylus and computer tablet. It will depend on what is available to me as well as what I feel would be the best way to portray you. Now, ideally I would like to do this in person but it isn’t very practical with friends all over the world. If you are a local friend and would be willing to hang out and let me draw or photograph you for your portrait, let me know. I would love to do that.

I set up a page called “The Portrait Project” on Facebook and I plan to post the portraits there. If you like this idea and want to follow along, then just “like” the page and the portraits will begin to appear on your wall. I will post the portrait using only your first name to identify you. I won’t “tag” it but if you like it and want your friends to see it then I would encourage you to tag it yourself. You have my permission to use the digital version of my portrait of you in any way you would like. Also, if you don’t want me to post your portrait, just message me and let me know.

So, why am I doing this? Well, setting up a project like this provides a structure and focus for me to sharpen my skills and experiment with different approaches to painted portraits. Choosing to do this with my facebook friends makes it interesting for me - and hopefully for you too! It’s more fun drawing people I know. I have found that when I draw someone - especially someone I know - I gain a greater depth of understanding and connection to that person. I can’t think of any better group of people to do that with than my friends and family on Facebook.

Cheers! Ken