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Drawing and painting from life is fun and challenging. With a live model, even if they sit still, they change ever so slightly with every breath. And with animals, well, they never sit still! So why do it??

I work from real life as much as I possibly can for a couple of reasons. First and foremost because the human eye sees in three dimensions: height/length/depth and a camera sees in two: height/length. Therefore working from real life provides more information for painting. Secondly, I really enjoy figuring out how to translate what I see in 3-D into a 2-D painting that looks 3-D! 

When I work with animals if possible I start by spending time with them and sketching them in their environment. Then I take a few reference photos and once back in the studio work on creating an interesting composition that somehow captures the personality of the animal. If I cover the whole paper with pastel then it's considered a painting, but if I don't then it is a sketch.

When I work with people, we generally we end up talking a lot and I really enjoy learning who these women are. So much so that I've begun planning for a show displaying them all collected in one place. A celebration of the women in this community.

Check out my blog for more information on how I paint portraits. 

Click on any of the images below to read the backstory of what led to the painting being created.



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