Saturday, August 30, 2014


This is Pedro. He is an urban sketching friend and he lives in Portugal.
This is my second watercolor portrait on Yupo - not really paper - more like a sheet of plastic. Weird stuff. I like it.
7"x11" watercolor and pencil on Yupo. Portrait #79

Friday, August 29, 2014


This is Chuck. He is a Realtor and a really nice guy. When my wife was first starting out in real estate a few years ago, he was like a mentor to her. He would help her get through difficult or complicated transactions. I would see him at company parties all the time and he would always have a beer in his right hand.

18"x24" oil on canvas. Portrait #78

Thursday, August 28, 2014


This is Elizabeth. She's an urban sketching friend and she lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

This is my largest portrait so far. I put myself in the photo to give it some scale. It doesn't feel finished to me but it has a freshness that I like. I plan to come back and work on it some more. I'll post a final one if I do.

5'x6' spray paint and acrylic.

Monday, August 25, 2014


This is Morgan. I ride bikes with him occasionally. He used to own a hot dog food truck down by Camden Harbor. I would bike with him in the morning and buy a hot dog from him just a few hours later. He gave up the hot dog gig a few years ago and became a banker. He tells great stories.

18"x24" oil on canvas

Saturday, August 23, 2014


This is Alison. She is one of my second cousins and she lives in Houston, Texas. It is especially interesting for me when I am drawing family members. As I was drawing Alison, I would catch glimpses of my grandmother and especially my grandmother's sister, who was Alison's grandmother. And along with these resemblances come memories. Unfortunately, I don't have many memories with Alison. Our lives have been separate enough by distance and age that our paths rarely cross.
9"x12" graphite on watercolor paper.

Friday, August 22, 2014


This is Pete. I remember reading an article in our local newspaper about 12 years ago that told the story of him competing in an Ironman triathlon. I thought that was incredibly difficult, amazing and inspirational and decided I should meet this Ironman guy. About a week later I get a call from someone asking if I was available to do some design drawings for a house that he was renovating. It turned out to be Pete!

That was the beginning of our friendship. I went on to work with Pete and his family to renovate their home and we trained together for a couple of years running and riding bikes together until I ultimately completed the same Ironman (Wisconsin) that he had done a few years earlier.

9"x12" pencil and watercolor.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


This is Vicente. He is an urban sketching friend and he lives in Portugal.
8"x10" watercolor in my Grand Portrait Handbook Journal

Monday, August 18, 2014


This is Beth. I met her a few years ago when I started learning how to paint with oils. At first I was going to do an oil painting of her as a sort of homage to our shared medium but then I thought it was too obvious a choice. I chose digital because about the only time we communicate these days is through the computer.

I sketched this on my Samsung Note 10.1 tablet using an app that came with the tablet called S Note. The drawing tools in this app are pretty limited but the results are kind of fun.

Friday, August 15, 2014


This is Scout. She looks so peaceful here in this portrait but it's a contradiction.
When I first saw her she was on stage performing at the piano and I was sketching the musicians. I thought "great, a piano player. Maybe I can get a good sketch. Piano players don't move near as much as guitar players do, right?" Wrong. She was all over the place belting out her song. Legs flying every which way. I just put down my pencil and watched in amazement. This girl can sing AND play AND dance. She not only feels the music - she IS the music.
10"x17" Acrylic and spray paint on canvas.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


This is Emilayah. She was 12 or 13 when I first met her in 2009. My then 12 year old son and I took an RV trip down to Nashville, Tennessee to visit my sister who is a singer and songwriter there. Emilayah is the daughter of one of my sisters friends and we ended up hanging out at their pool one steaming hot Nashville afternoon.
Well, my son and Emilayah took a liking to one another and before long I wasn't sure if we could tear them away from each other. Phone numbers were exchanged and the texting commenced. As these tween romances go it didn't last long and they have both moved on but we have all made a connection with one another that has lasted.
She must be 18 or 19 now and has grown into a beautiful young woman.
12"x24" Oil on Canvas.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


This is Gabi. He is the founder of the "Urban Sketching" movement sweeping the world. Well, perhaps that's overstating it but he is at the epicenter of a large movement in sketching. In 2008 I started sketching passionately and as I was looking for inspiration I stumbled on a number of blogs of people posting their sketches of the cities they lived in. One of the first blogs I found was Gabi's, where he posted the sketches he was doing in and around Seattle, Washington as a sketch journalist for the Seattle Times.
Sometime in late 2008 he had the bright idea to start a blog that organized about 100 sketchers from all over the world. It has a huge following now. Their motto is "See the world one drawing at a time." All of this has led to him writing a book called "The Art of Urban Sketching" and putting on international sketching conferences. I went to a conference in 2012 with my son and got to meet Gabi and many of the artists that inspired me as I began sketching.
He is such a nice, easy going guy also and I can't imagine a better ambassador for promoting sketching as a way to see and understand the world we live in.
10"x16" pencil, ink and watercolor.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


This is Deborah. Last week I posted a portrait of her husband Nick. I designed and built a house for them near Austin, Texas about 20 years ago. Sidebar - It's happened 3 times now that I have drawn names from my jar and the married friends I have come out within one or two weeks of each other. Just interesting...
Anyway, Deb is about the nicest client I have had. No offense to all the other super nice clients I have had. But she would bring drinks and cookies and all sorts of goodies out to our crew during the construction of their house. And that was such a welcome treat working out on their remote hill country site on days when the temperature was over a hundred degrees.
12"x16" graphite and graphite watercolor with a little Artrage.

Monday, August 11, 2014


This is João. He is an urban sketching friend and he lives in Portugal. I hope to visit his beautiful country someday and sketch with him.
When I started this portrait he was living in Ireland. About the time I finished the portrait he announced he had returned to Portugal. To me, the flag colors and symbol I used in the background represent aspects of both countries and their connection to this man.
18"x24" Oil on Canvas.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


This is Maureen. She is a kickass triathlete. I ride bikes with her occasionally and about once a year we end up racing against each other. She beats me bad on the swim but, if I'm having a good day, I might catch her on the bike. 

This portrait came about because I had this cardboard box from Blick Art Supply laying on the floor of my studio and thought it would be interesting to turn it into a portrait and get rid of it at the same time. Maureen just happened to be next in line.

18"x23" Gouache on cardboard.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


This is Tom. We went to high school together.
10"x16" watercolor and pencil. I sketched this in my Grand portrait Handbook Journal on a recent visit to Houston.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


This is Kat. She is an extraordinary painter and she owns an Art gallery in Friendship, Maine. I met her through a life drawing group that meets weekly. This past winter she and her husband escaped from Maine for a few months and went south to enjoy some time on warmer beaches. She offered to paint postcards for her friends who wanted one so I sent her my address and she mailed me a beautiful hand painted card. How cool is that?

8"x10" pencil and watercolor. I sketched this in my Grand Portrait Handbook Journal on the airplane from Houston to Philadelphia.

Monday, August 4, 2014


This is Nick. He hired me to design and build a house for him and his family near Austin, Texas in 1993. He was my client but in the process of building his home he became a close friend and mentor as well. One of my favorite quotes from Nick, and he had several, was - "If you're not having fun, you’re not doing it right." I think about that quote from time to time - especially when I'm not having fun.

I sketched this from a photo I took of him back when we were building his house. It's how I remember him.

11"x14" Pencil and watercolor graphite on Yupo.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


This is Francis. He is an Urban Sketching friend and he lives in Singapore. I hope to sketch with him over a cup of tea someday.
I sketched this in my Grand Portrait Handbook Journal at lunch last week. 8"x10" pencil and watercolor.