05 Apr

Color sketch for a larger portrait painting

I’m doing some portraits to push my skills and process. A lovely friend and her daughter modeled for me for the color sketch, so that I could get their skin color right when working larger. When I only have an hour and a half to get my colors right, I set up my pallet completely differently. 3 convenience browns and no warm blue… I think I’ll stick with that pallet for the larger portrait.


31 Mar

Portrait is complete and beautiful, what’s next?

I wish I could post a picture now, but this last portrait is a surprise gift… I’m very excited about how it turned out! I can’t wait to show you all.

I was so anxious waiting to hear back from the collector… But this morning I got the “It looks great!!!” Yay, I love that. Thank you collector.

Now that the painting is ready to ship, I have some time before my next commission will start. If you know anyone who is interested in a portrait, please share my information with them.

For the last 9 years, I’ve gradually come to the point where there’s no difference in how long a portrait takes me for sizes under 11×14″. And you’d think they go faster and faster as I get more experienced, but it’s sort of the opposite. The more I know, the higher my expectations get, and the more nuanced my paintings are.

The difference between 11×14 and 16×20 is the first jump in size where the larger painting takes more planning and time to complete… I’m planning to do something with that information, but I’m not sure what…

Call to schedule your portrait project.

28 Jul

Portrait painting of mom and daughter. South Dakota artist.

Call or email if you’d like information about portraits. Bigger image. 

Here is the finished portrait of my beautiful friends Erika and Seija. Thank you so much for sitting for me (for so long) for the sketches!

I’ve been working on this portrait for a while. It’s the first one where I specifically asked someone to sit in my studio for me, for a few hours of simple paintings to get their colors, and then photos to work from…

I love painting portraits, and I hope it shows in the painting.

02 Apr

Caden & Otter in the Light. Minnesota and South Dakota portrait paintings.

Caden & Otter in the Light | 16×20 in |oil on canvas | (nfs) Portrait Commission Info

Were there any good pranks in your life yesterday?

My son got me with his first really effective April fools prank. He’s 7, so in the past they’ve been cute and sweet, but this one really got me good. Heath’s in for it when he gets home, so I can’t spill the beans in case he reads this – but it involved a nice little bit of coding on Caden’s part, a few seconds of panic (for me), a lot of laughing (both of us)… And I’m very impressed (as I often am).

About this painting: Some of my paintings just come straight together Alla prima (painted all at once), but once in a while I’ll spend weeks or months living with a painting and making changes until it says “I’m done.” This painting is one of those… I started it a few months ago and you’ve seen a couple progress photos. Finally yesterday I decided it needed some simplification and clarity about the light source, so I got rid of the stripes in his pants and made the bottom of the lit area of the couch a more clear shape, and made the whole light area blue… and made Otter’s shadow more of a cartoon shadow, as a nod to the Calvin & Hobbes book being read. What do you think?



There’s still time to Enter to win a custom painting! Just refer a friend to my e-newsletter.

Happy Birthday Dianne H.!