Thursday, October 27, 2016


This is Stephen. He's a plywood artist and I absolutely love his work. He makes really cool stuff out of plywood - vessels, fine art, coffee cups, etc. A couple of years ago we worked on an inkwell design together and he built me a couple that I love and use practically every day. Anyway, we've been talking lately about him building a couple plywood panels to replace the two metal gas tank covers on my Ducati Scrambler motorcycle. So, a couple of weeks ago I rode out to talk about it with him and asked him if, while I was out there, I could do his portrait.

It was a perfect autumn day so we sat out on his back porch and caught up with each other's lives while I sketched. I brought my large Moleskine sketchbook (12"x16") which I knew would be ambitious for just an hour sketch. Well, the time flew by for me, as it so often does when I'm sketching/painting and before I knew it, my time was up. I didn't especially like the portrait I painted so I took a photo of Stephen with my phone with the plan that I would fix it back in the studio.

I have mixed feeling about this portrait now that I've "fixed" it in the studio. Part of me feels like I've "cheated" - it's sort of half live and half from a photo and therefore not true to my proclaimed effort of doing live portraits. But then the other part of me says I didn't have time to "complete" the portrait so it's fair that I use a camera to so that I can bring the portrait to a satisfactory conclusion. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016


This is Dipika. I met her in May when I traveled to Nepal and joined a group of strangers to trek the Annapurna circuit. She's my first "face 2 face" portrait in this new phase of the Portrait Project and this sketch is from a few months ago when we were on the trek. I ended up painting her portrait 3 times over the course of the 2 week trek. This one is my favorite, though as I recall, she wasn't particularly fond of it.

This portrait took about 30-40 minutes and was done in the evening at a teahouse near Chame along the Annupurna circuit trek. I used a 4b pencil and small watercolor kit that fits inside of an Altoids tin along with a Pentel waterbrush.

I'm going to flat out give all the credit for this new phase of Portrait Project to Dipika. She inspired it by showing me that I not only could do it but that I had vastly more to gain in painting from life. After I painted Dipika, I had the idea to paint the portraits of our entire group - eighteen in all. And since they are all friends now and live in parts of the world I may never get to, I'll be sprinkling their portraits in as I go along. So, thanks Dipika. You started something.

Friday, October 21, 2016


This is Truth. The whole truth and nothin but the truth. I sketched her today.

Thursday, October 20, 2016