Monday, June 29, 2015


This is Dorie. I met her about ten years ago when she contacted me to help her with designing renovations to her home. She's an artist and we had a great time coming up with the design. Anyway, when I went to look for a picture of her on Facebook to do her portrait I didn't find any so I asked her if I could paint her portrait live.
Doing a live portrait is actually kind of terrifying for me - probably I don't want to offend the person I am painting. It's a pretty vulnerable position both for the sitter and the artist. At the same time there is an intensity and present-ness that's exhilarating.
We decided to do this in her art studio. I brought paints and brushes and an easel and started with a sketch which seemed too small to me. I expressed my frustration and Dorie offered me some larger cold press watercolor paper. Interesting, a new paper, why not? (This may not seem big to most of you, but in painting, changing papers changes everything about how the paint is absorbed, drys, blends with other colors, creates shades, texture and tones. Everything). So I started anew with drawing in pencil. Perhaps because I felt the paper would stay too wet for too long, I decided to paint with gouache, which I rarely paint with. So lots of new things started happening which was fun, scary, and messy.
Back in my studio the starkness of the background didn't feel right so I painted in a background that felt Dorie-esque.
Thanks Dorie, for being my first live model in The Portrait Project.
16x19 pencil and gouache on watercolor paper. #187

Sunday, June 28, 2015


This is Scott. I met him in the Dominican Republic at an urban sketching symposium a few years ago. We stayed in the same hotel so we got to hang out quite a bit - along with Jessie, portrait #7 He wore a fedora the whole time. He has a cool vibe.
12x16 watercolor, pencil and Artrage. #186

Monday, June 22, 2015


This is Andaruz. He's an urban sketching friend living in Córdoba, Spain.
9x12 pencil and graphite sketch. #185

Friday, June 19, 2015


This is Louis. He's an urban sketching friend living in Penang, Malaysia. This is another "collaborative portrait" - He painted the wall mural of the two kids on the swing and I painted his portrait. Except my portrait is actually only about 8"x10" in real life but thanks to Artrage, it looks like I painted him 10 feet tall. Someday I would love to do something like this on an actual wall somewhere. Maybe Louis and I could collaborate in real life. That would be fun.
8x10 watercolor, pencil, and Artrage. #184

Thursday, June 18, 2015


This is Aric. I met him about 12 years ago on a bike ride. He was a duathlete at that time and one of the fastest runners in New England. We started teaming up doing adventure races and triathlons shortly after we met. I'm pretty sure we won just about every race we entered together and I give him most of the credit for that. He's a far better runner than I am a biker.

BTW, he's also a much better looking and friendlier guy than this portrait lets on but I liked the outcome so here it is.

11x15 watercolor and pencil in a Moleskine Sketchbook. #183

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


This is Lisa. She lives in Switzerland. I met her a couple of years ago when I was on a rafting trip down the Futaleufu river in Southern Chile. She was kayaking the entire trip. She's such a sweet person but I remember the moment my perception of her changed and she became an Absolute Badass Chick.
One day we were rafting and came to this beyond category section of river. A sort of waterfall where the water was compressed between 2 curving canyon walls creating a loud roar and spray of water into the air that was awe inspiring. There was no way we could get through it. So we pulled over, emptied the rafts, and then let them go through the chutes to our guides that had hiked downstream and caught them on the other side. Then we carried our stuff up and over a steep rocky path where we had a birds-eye view to watch the empty rafts getting tossed about wildly as they made their way through the canyon walls.
Just past the top I saw Lisa sitting in her kayak on a sloped slab of rock and pointed toward the edge of the cliff over the river. The drop was probably 15 to 20 feet. Without much hesitation she counted to three and over the edge she went. Impressive.
14x20 pencil, ink and watercolor and a little bit of touchup in Artrage. #182

Thursday, June 11, 2015


This is Mary. I met her when I was a teenager living in Houston. Her parents and my parents were really good friends so we would hang out sometimes. She was pretty and funny and it seemed like she had hundreds of friends. I loved her laugh and the way she said things. I can still remember her voice in my head like she's sitting right next to me.
A couple of years ago she died from complications of Lupus. She was only 48. When I heard the news I cried a river.
This song Thank U by Alanis Morissette was running through my head while I was painting her portrait and worked its way into the final piece. I don't know why. Maybe because I just got back from India and feel a certain gratitude for Everything. Certainly I'm grateful for knowing Mary.
14x20 watercolor, pencil, and ink on Twinrocker handmade paper. #181

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


This is Oscar. He's an Urban sketching friend living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This is another "collaborative portrait" where the sketch behind is Oscar's and the portrait I painted is digitally laid over the top.
The original portrait is 8"x10" pencil and watercolor. #180