View Full Version : My Uncle Frank, a work in progress

03-19-2013, 03:34 PM
I know I haven't posted any work in quite some time. I haven't been painting due to a personal loss I had in September of last year. I just hadn't felt up to painting, lost my drive and desire, or so I thought. I guess I just needed time to get through everything, I'm feeling better these days and I've missed my pastels.

This is a commission I'm doing for my Uncle Frank's wife. It's of my Uncle Frank, and it is a birthday present for him. He is 83 (I think.....), and he loves to dabble with pastels like I do.

I'm approaching this commission unlike any other one I've done. I'm painting it for me. Yup, me. What a revelation, huh? I'm not worried about pleasing anybody but myself, and the result is oh so much better. Painting commissions is so difficult, at least for me it is. That "need to please" really takes over, and I find myself doing things that I wouldn't do in my own paintings. The one exception to this was a painting I did a while ago called Painting with the Angels. That I painted for myself, I guess that was really the start of this epiphany... paint for myself and I will be happy!

Anyway, I wasn't going to do a work in progress on this one, but I figured what the heck, it keeps me focused. I've been posting steps on my blog, so if you want to see them up until this point you can pop over there and get the scoop. Here is a link, (http://dimaurodustyeasel.blogspot.com/) and there's a link in my signature as well.

Anyway, here is where I'm at today. I see on his left (dark) side that there is a glint of light that needs to be toned down and softened, as well as some reflected light that might need to be darkened. It's not there yet. It always happens this way, after I take the photograph I see something I need to adjust :eek: ! This is done on Wallis Belgium Mist; yes, that is my favorite paper for portraits. Nothing beats it, IMHO. I'm using primarily Giraults, with a smattering of old Grumbachers and Unison violets, a few Mount Visions and Great Americans in the background as well as Giraults, and a few pencils to get in the eyes, though the Giraults work pretty well also for that, so my pencil usage is really very limited, I'm not using them much at all. I purchased a 25pc set of Girault skin tones, and boy am I loving them! They are a great addition to anybody's palette, especially if you like doing portraits. Also, I am saving most of my dramatic lights for the end, so if this looks like it might need some punching up it probably does. Saving the best for last!

Thanks for looking!


03-19-2013, 04:32 PM
Chris this is wonderful already looking forward to following you progress. It is good to see you posting again. I have missed you.

03-19-2013, 04:35 PM
Looking great so far - will check out your blog

03-19-2013, 05:34 PM
Chris, good to see you posting another portrait! Always such a treat. I think this will be a fantastic portrayal of your Uncle. I almost feel I know him already!
And you're not the only one who sees stuff once you've taken/posted a photo! It happens to me all the time!

03-19-2013, 06:04 PM
Beautiful. Sounds like you are finding some peace with your personal loss and your talent is providing a creative outlet. One day at a time and I bet with your talent it's a drawing a day ( okay maybe a week or so). Pam

03-19-2013, 06:14 PM
Chris just let me say I am so sorry for your loss, its so good to see you painting again. I saw this on your blog and was gobsmacked at how beautiful it was. (I should have commented!) The eyes have so much depth ...Leesa

Mary Brigid
03-19-2013, 07:11 PM
This is beautiful already. I am looking forward to seeing your finish. And I too am sorry that you have had a loss in your life

Deb F
03-19-2013, 08:05 PM
I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Chris, and you have had a cold and dark winter in which to deal with it. Perhaps the longer days of spring will help heal your heart. I am glad to see that you are painting again and I must say this is a real treat to see. Thanks so much for inviting us into your process.


water girl
03-19-2013, 08:08 PM
I'm sorry for your loss, Chris. I was wondering why you hadn't posted. Thank you for this wip. I love to watch other artists go through their personal process. It looks great to this point.

03-19-2013, 11:31 PM
Hey Jen :heart: , how are you? I have missed posting, it's nice to know I'm mised, thank you so much.

Thanks tking :) . Hope you like my blog.

Hi Ruthie :cat: ! I'm glad I'm in such good company, I think the computer screen seems to be able to zone in on anything that needs adjusting..... happens to me often.

Thanks so much Pam :heart: , you're so sweet. Painting is therapeutic, but when the spark isn't there, I just can't do it. I had to wait for my fire to be lit I guess. Some people paint to get them through things, I just couldn't. I am happy to be at it again though! I really missed it!

Thanks Leesa :wink2: , it sure feels good to be back. Thanks for stopping by my blog, don't worry about not commenting, I don't. I always check the views I get, I know the blog is getting looked at :D, which is all that matters.

Thanks so much Mary Brigid :) , I can't wait to finish it also!

Thank you Deb :) . Yes, it's been a tough winter, I'm glad it's almost over. Onwards and upwards, I am glad you are enjoying my work in progress.

Hey Karen :heart: , how are you? Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it. So far this has been a fun one to paint, I'm enjoying the process. Those (portrait) Giraults I bought are turning out to be a really smart purchase. They are becoming indispensable, making this all the more enjoyable.

03-20-2013, 12:16 AM
This looks so good already, sorry to hear you've been sad.
I know what you mean about not being able to paint without the spark, it's good to see you have yours back

03-20-2013, 01:32 AM
Beautiful start, Chris. Hope the good work here makes you feel better.

03-20-2013, 01:50 AM
It's great to have you back, Chris! Painting for yourself? What a concept! I am so glad you found a way to put yourself into your paintings and if you can see the difference, then everybody else can too. I think your Uncle Frank will be tickled pink when he sees this. I will be watching for your updates.


03-20-2013, 04:55 AM
Glad you are painting again Chris. My first exposure to WC was following the progress of Painting with the Angels and it really inspired me. I am so happy you expressed your feelings on painting for yourself. When I did my self-portrait, I had no one to please except for myself and it was very liberating. Great start on your Uncle and please continue to provide WIP. Bob

03-20-2013, 06:48 AM
Sorry for your loss. I had the Same when my Mother died. Didnt paint for couple of years. Made a oil painting portrait of her when i was ready for drawing again. Posted her in oils as my Mother. Your painting looks good already. Gone follow your work. Keep drawing!

03-20-2013, 02:35 PM
So deeply sorry for your loss Chris and also Pat, mine was my sister and a year later almost to the day my very best friend, I guess we all have been there once or twice in our lives....So glad you picked up your pastels again! Your Uncle look awesome I know it will be wonderful when your done, will definitely be watching! Now I am going to look up Painting with the Angels....... just went and looked then realize I saw this one already just didn't remember the name...... ITS BEAUTIFUL Chris!!!!! :) I Love your work :clap:

03-20-2013, 06:34 PM
Thanks Deanna, yup, the spark has returned :smug: .

Thank you Jean, it is making me feel better. :heart:

Thank you Doug.... I know, what a concept, huh? :lol: Commission work is so different from my own work, it's hard to not get hung up. I'm at a point now where I'm just not gonna worry about it anymore, I'm painting for the joy and the client will be happy..... that's it that's all..... :D

Thanks very much Bob, I'm glad you liked my other thread as well. This one is quite different from that one, at least my photograph is decent (I took it to be sure I had something good to work from). :)

Thank you Pat, wow! 2 years is a long time, I'm sorry for your loss. It's been six months for me, long enough I think. My mom would want me to paint, she knew how much I love it. It feels good to be back. :D

Thanks so much Donna, I really appreciate it. I know it's hard when we loose someone, but getting back in the groove is really what I need I think. I'm sorry about your losses, I hope your painting right now. :heart:

Moises Menendez
03-20-2013, 06:40 PM
Chris, sorry for your loss. My mother in law passed away three months ago. It was an unexpected loss.
Your uncle looks great. Iam looking forward to see your final work.

03-21-2013, 01:46 PM
this wip has a most sensible development/balance of tinted surface and palette .

raw umber might just be the transition colour into the higher key areas , just looking at my screen ,
tho stick brands can vary from gray/green to beige ...


03-22-2013, 12:09 AM
Thanks Moe, sorry about your loss too. I guess it's all a part of life. I'm hoping to get more time to work on this in the next few days. I'll updated as soon as I can.

Thank you Ed. Color is so much fun, isn't it? It's a dance between color and value, getting it right is such a challenge, but I so enjoy it. You are so right about the variation between brands. I'm using primarily Giraults on this one, especially in the skin. They're my favorite for portraits, and that skin tone set of Giraults is proving to be indispensable.

03-22-2013, 02:21 AM
I'm so terribly sorry for your loss and heartache. Having lost my own mother a couple of years ago, I can completely understand how it is very, very hard to embrace those things that bring you pleasure when your heart feels so heavy with grief.

I'm glad you are able to start reaching a point where you feel ready to recommence embracing your beautiful pastel artwork again.

Uncle Frank is looking absolutely fantastic! I'm always in awe of your work and can't wait to see you finish him off and add in your lights at the end (as you hinted to in your blog post). ;-)

03-22-2013, 05:39 PM
Thank you so much Kate. Yes, you understand as I am sure so many others do too, how difficult it is to be enthused about anything after going through a loss. It is starting to come back, I guess it just takes time.

I appreciate your comments, it truly is very heartwarming. Thanks so much for visiting my blog too, I appreciate it :heart: !

03-22-2013, 06:10 PM
Your mother? So sorry for your loss, Chris. Grieving takes the time it takes, and if it interferes with painting, that's how it is.

Good to see you painting, and it looks great already. Whaddyamean 'dabble'? What you do is miles and miles beyond that! Exquisit is the word that comes to mind.

03-22-2013, 07:42 PM
Prayers for you and family Chris.
This is going to be soooo good. I love what you have done so far. I lost my favorite Uncle last year. He was the most good-natured guy I've ever known.
Frank looks like a sweetie.


03-22-2013, 10:50 PM
lovely work!

03-23-2013, 12:15 AM
Wonderful, Chris. Can't wait to see the finish. Glad you're back.

John Palmer Fine Art
03-23-2013, 02:46 PM
This is another terrific portrait from you Chris. It never ceases to amaze me how you infuse your portraits with so much colour and they look the better for it too!

03-23-2013, 05:17 PM
Thanks so much Charlie. Yes, my Mom passed away 6 months ago. It's been difficult, so I'm glad I've gotten my enthusiasm back. That's the best way to describe it, I'm finding joy in my painting again. Aw shucks Charlie, better than dabbling huh? Thanks :heart: , I appreciate it.

Thanks Derek. My Uncle Frank is my dad's brother, it's almost like I'm painting my dad as they look alike. Not identical, but you can defintely tell they are brothers. He's still alive and kicking, I think he's 83 (ish). It was my mom that I lost.

Thanks so much Kevin, I love your work, your portraits are amazing!

Thank you Randy, it is good to be back!

Hey John, thanks so much! I know, I'm a color junkie, sometimes I have to restrain myself.....

03-23-2013, 05:23 PM
Okay, another update. I found some time today to paint, it felt great! This is by no means done, I'm still tweaking his face. I actually didn't paint the glasses yet, at least on our right side. What you see is the paper, I might leave it or at least use a color identical to the paper, as it seems to be working rather well. More work needs to be done on our right side of his chin and jaw line, that purple/blue reflected light is showing as too much of a 'line' right now. Easy tweak, I need to soften it down and put some of the mid tone colors in that I'm using. It's bothering me.... I might do it sooner rather than later :lol: .

I am pleased that I've captured a really good likeness, it really helps when you work from a good photo (I took it, I'm tired of working with impossible photos :evil: ). Yeah, that reflected light "line" needs to be tweaked right now.....:

Thanks for looking!


03-23-2013, 05:35 PM
He is coming along grea, Chris.

03-23-2013, 06:50 PM
My God, when I see the quality, the acuteness of the detail of your portraits, I have under eyes the road which I have to do... Bravo and thank you

03-23-2013, 07:59 PM
wonderful to see your work again! looks great and can't wait to see more updates/finish.

03-23-2013, 10:18 PM
Coming along very nicely :thumbsup:

03-24-2013, 02:01 AM
Chris, glad you are enjoying the process. He's looking great! Sorry to hear about your Mum. As Charlie says grief is a process that we have to go through in our own time and manner. Time does heal and leaves the happy memories but getting there is sometimes very hard. Hugs.

03-24-2013, 08:59 AM
Hi Chris

I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. My Mom's been gone since 89, but she's still in my heart giving me support and comfort. I know it's so hard in the begining, but I found my art as a great comfort and I know she would want me to continue!!! Keep your heart open your Mothers memories will never leave you!!!!!!

Take care!!!


03-24-2013, 03:14 PM
Thanks so much Christiane :heart: . I really haven't put in all that much detail actually, for me it's all about what detail and getting shapes right.

Thanks so much prashant, it feels good to be back!

Thank you Jayde!

Awww... thanks so much Jen :heart: . It does take time, and everybody's 'time' is different. It sure does feel good to be painting again! Hugs to you too!

Hey Marlene, thanks so very much. Yeah, it takes what it takes, and it does take time. Things are getting better, I'm feeling more like I'm in the groove again.

03-24-2013, 03:34 PM
Okay, another update. I think I've fixed that problem with reflected light on the lower jawline. His jawline on our left (his right) needs more help, it's not there yet. I played with his nose a bit, as well as the mouth. I may tone down the red on the shadow side of his face, still thinking about that. I've started the ear now, but I may just jump to the shirt for a while just to see if the colors will work. The ear might wait a bit more.....I'm having fun! It's such a pleasure to work from a decent photo...... :D .

Thanks for looking!


03-24-2013, 03:45 PM
Yes Chris: My prayers were for the loss of your dear mom. I thought I would just mention my uncle. Uncles can often be a blessing to us.
Man this is looking Good Chris. I think you made a great choice in using that complementary green ground with the warm flesh tones. The blue collar is also super.
Looking forward to the result, best of luck.

03-24-2013, 09:27 PM
Hi Chris, this is absolutely superb work. The light in his eyes makes me feel like I know him, you are such a good artist! I am sorry about your mother, too.
I am looking forward to seeing the rest of this as you finish with it! Nice!

03-24-2013, 11:58 PM
It comes great! I know many people said this, I still want say again! The love from your heart are showing on the paper, it is great!

03-25-2013, 06:43 AM
Coming on great Chris! I agree with Derek about the BG and the shirt. Those colours really work well with the skintones.

I'm so glad you're having fun doing this! As you know I lost my Mum just after you and painting actually helped me then. Good that we're all so different! I think it's just beginning to hit me now though. I just miss her so much.

03-25-2013, 04:35 PM
Hey Derek, thanks! Yes, uncles are special too. :heart: I'm glad my color choices are working!

Thanks so much FaeLynn, what a nice compliment :angel: . You really made my day, portrait painting is all about the viewer having a feeling when looking at the painting, I'm so glad this gives you that feeling.

Thank you so much Yannese! :D I truly am loving painting this one, and I am glad it shows!

Hey Ruthie, thanks so much! Big hugs to you :heart: :heart: :heart: , I know we lost our Moms around the same time. You did handle it differently, I remember our talks. Isn't it interesting how different we all are, yet we somehow get to the same place eventually. Keep painting, your work is fantastic, you know how much I especially love your portraits!

03-25-2013, 04:40 PM
Okay, here is my update for today. I took the painting into my kitchen to photograph it, it's raining here today and my studio is not the brightest place, duhhhh......., you'd think it would be..... dunno why....... :lol: . I think this one is pretty close to true.

I'm now working on the texture of the sweater. It's pretty smooth, but I want it to look like a sweater so I think I'll be playing with it for a while. Hoping it will work :crossfingers: ... Our left side of the collar on the shirt isn't there yet, still tweaking. Also his right, our left, ear isn't quite there either, but it's close I think. I gotta play with the values, I think it needs some more subtle darks.....I'm moving to the sweater to get a break. It isn't quite right.....

Oh, did I mention I'm having fun????? Yup, you gotta love pastels....... :D

Thanks for looking!


03-25-2013, 05:09 PM
Firstly, thank you Chris, for your comments :heart: Secondly, thank you Chris for giving us this wonderful WIP full of joy :thumbsup:

03-25-2013, 05:36 PM
Gee Chris, I haven't posted here in quite some time but so glad I came on WC today. This is just beautiful. What a lovely man, a good soul. So sorry about your loss, but I'm sure the love and strength of your family will help you to continue. Your mum would be proud of this piece and happy that you are back to doing what you truly love to do. Welcome back.

03-25-2013, 09:30 PM
I am really enjoying watching this beautiful piece develop step by step. I am so glad that you are enjoying this as much as we are. Your work is always inspiring, and this is no exception. In short, welcome back. :)

03-26-2013, 10:12 PM
Thanks so much Ruthie, it really does feel good to be painting again, yippee! :clap:

Thank you RooGal, I am happy to be back. Pastels are just the best :D ....

Thanks very much Grinner, what a nice thing to say. :heart:

03-26-2013, 10:45 PM
He's looking great Chris. Such a sweet man coming to life.

03-28-2013, 12:45 AM
Thanks so much Jen :heart: !

03-28-2013, 01:47 AM
This just beautiful. Such warmth. I feel great affection for him and of course, have never met him. That's saying quite a lot about the essence you've captured...Great great...

03-28-2013, 02:45 AM
Wonderful job !

Moises Menendez
03-28-2013, 08:22 AM
Chris, this is a very realistic rendition of your uncle. I like how your are using the values. I am looking forward to see the finished work. You are very talented!

Mary Brigid
03-28-2013, 08:32 AM
I am enjoying watching how you work Chris. This is a fabulous portrait. I will be back
Mary Brigid

03-28-2013, 12:09 PM
Chris, I saw this posted on FB I think and was truly impressed with the initial strokes but I hadn't a clue about the backstory. I'm sorry about your Mom but I love the fact that you get to visit with your uncle/dad as you paint this. I find it to be part of the gift of portrait painting - especially when they look like someone you know well. I often have conversations with them.

Savor every step.... Barb

03-29-2013, 12:04 AM
Thanks very much Matt, I truly appreciate it.

Thank you Mado.

Thanks so much Moises. Value is so very important, isn't it?

Thanks very much Mary Bridgid.

Thank you Barb. I did post this on FB also, you are remembering correctly. I am enjoying this one more than I thought I would, it's been fun. I think you're right, painting the familiar is always the best.

I'm hoping to get more painting time on Saturday, if not it will have to wait until Monday.

04-10-2013, 06:36 PM
Finally, I found some time to paint. I swear, life sure does get in the way sometimes...

I'm thoroughly enjoying this one. I keep sayin' to my self, "I gotta do more portraits". I think after this one I will do one just for myself. All I gotta do is find a subject.. :evil:

Here is where I'm at right now. I've played with the background a bit more, I think I'm going to leave it the way it is. I like the 'unfinished' look of it, it seems more painterly. I may tweak our left side just a tad to 'reshape' it, but other than that I like it.

I've worked a bit on the sweater, trying to figure out the texture. Boy, you gotta have a lot of blues to paint a blue sweater (and purples too). The wrinkle on our left looks a bit like a 'bump' and a bit too straight (up and down), I shall be fixing that..... :D .

Every photo I take looks a bit different. This one seems even closer to the original, though it looks a bit blurry. I think it's because I took the photo with minimal lighting and no flash, thus a bit of a 'blur'. I think the room needed to be a bit brighter, I took the photo late in the day. I'm still figuring out the photo thingy, I will be sure to get a perfect photo for my final one.

I see something on his upper lip on our left side... I think I need to fix that :eek: .

Thanks for looking!


04-10-2013, 10:37 PM
Chris, he looks wonderful and his sweater already looks soft and cuddly. Great progress.

04-11-2013, 02:15 AM
My goodness, this is so exiting! Being a newbie I just sit here and try to figure out how you do it... your uncle seems to be a wise man with a quiet sense of humour, that's what I see :) This looks magnificent already!

Sorry for your loss, I know how it feels, my mother passed away three weeks ago. The good memories will take over and comfort us. Glad you can paint again.

04-11-2013, 06:35 AM
This is fab. Keep going with the 'me' concept, It's important that you are true to yourself and the way you do things. You are too talented to be diverted from your way. Really looking forward to following your progress. Go girl go :clap:

04-11-2013, 05:14 PM
Gosh, this is so darn good, I feel like smiling and waving: Hey, Frank! How are you today? Awesome!

04-11-2013, 10:19 PM
Thanks Jen, I appreciate it. I'm glad the sweater is reading like a sweater. I gotta fix that 'bump', it's too prominent.

Thanks so much raxu. I'm so sorry for your loss, it really is a difficult one to get through isn't it? I guess pastels are just like any other medium, the more you play with it the more you will understand how to manipulate it. Keep painting, it will come!

Thank you twiglet. Yes, it was an epiphany even though it seems so obvious. When doing commissions it is so hard to not try and please the customer first. I am finding if I please myself first I get better results - duh!!!!! Something well known, yet difficult to adhere to when painting for someone else. Whowudathunkit????? :lol: I kept on fighting what I knew was right, thinking "the customer needs to be happy....." of course they will be happy if I do what I think is right, they're buying my work because they like it, I need to do what I think needs to be done, don't question it. Yup, I'm pleasin' myself from now on :smug: .....

Thanks FaeLynn, I'm glad this is looking so personable to you! It is exactly what I was after.

04-12-2013, 02:22 AM
It just keeps getting better and better in each installment.

04-12-2013, 04:47 AM
I don't know how I missed this post. I really love your painting Chris, it's just stunning.
I liked it before you started on the sweater (#43 I think) I thought it left all the focus on the face. I don't know if I would have been able to stop there though!
Looking forward to more instalments.

04-13-2013, 11:36 AM
Nice! Side note - I bet you're glad he wasn't wearing a 5-color plaid sweater in the reference photo ;) ha ha

04-13-2013, 11:49 AM
Thanks Boyd, I appreciate it!

Thank you pugwash. I know, often times less is more. I definitely could have pulled it off just by indicating the clothing with some line work and shadowing, but he specifically picked out this sweater and shirt. He gave great thought into what he wanted to wear, at least he mentioned it to me before he came over for the photos. I figured I needed to put it in, so I did. It still works, I'm trying to keep some edges loose and soft, not so hard and literal.

Thanks Grinner! You know, if he decided to wear something like that I definitely would have simplified, too much plaid could take over the painting! My artistic license would have kicked in. Like I explained in my earlier posts I've come to the realization that I'm driving the bus and I will paint what I feel is best in a way I think will work :smug: , so there :lol: ! Not gonna be swayed......

04-13-2013, 06:53 PM
I can't wait, I can't wait!!!!

04-15-2013, 03:16 PM
I can't wait, I can't wait!!!!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I'm workin' on it Derek........ another day or so...... :angel:

04-17-2013, 02:36 PM
Hey Derek, I finally have an update :lol: !

I've worked on the shirt a bit more. I'm still figuring out the sweater, I think I need to get the right side in before judging the left. I've tweaked the left a bit, but I really can't judge it properly, so I've started the right side. I found some more blue sticks, some really nice Mount Visions. I started incorporating them into the mix and it seems to be working. I actually put some greens into the sweater too, so I'm liking it a bit more. It's more harmonious with the background. All it needed was a small bit, it really does work. There are some intense blues on the right near the collar, that might need to be toned down.

Our left side of his face needs some softening, I just haven't gotten back to it yet but I will. I'm so into the sweater right now, I was in a zone and didn't want to break it :eek: :lol: .

I know I need to soften the background on the left, that dark spot is a a little harsh.

I really looooove Wallis paper, especially this Belgium Mist. It's great for portraits, though I think I would probably love it for any subject. I'm thinking of a still life next, then a maybe landscape...... :evil:. I think I've found my groove again :D !

Thanks for looking!


04-17-2013, 02:53 PM
OOOOOH Chris: Making just awesome progress on this. Yes I can see why you were in the groove with the Shirt/sweater thing and it is paying off big time. There is so much "life" in this....I feel like I know your uncle. I think your color combo as far as warms and cools is spot-on. Way to the left is a pinky blob? My eye keeps going there for a wee vacation, soooo.
Gotta try the belgian mist, though I still love my Canson "touch".
Love the painting. Thanks for the update Chris.
a STILL LIFE NEXT????? Full figure in the landscape maybe?


by the way: That button and button hole are to die for.

04-17-2013, 04:15 PM
Yeah Derek, that whole left side background needs some tweaking, not there yet. Don't be takin' a vacation there yet, it'll be gone soon :lol: . All it takes are a few swipes with the right color and it will be fine. I'm jumping around a bit, so I haven't tended to it but I will, I promise. Thanks for the support, I really appreciate it!

That button was a real surprise. Just two or three swipes and it was done, I was back in the days of lessons with my mentor, he was whispering in my ear and it came together quickly. There is one speck of dark right above the button that might need to be lightened, it's not the hole, and it's a bit too dark. I'm critiquing my own painting as I go aren't I :lol: ? I always do, but not usually out loud like this.....

Actually, not so much a standard still life, something to do with dried flowers, not sayin' any more though..... :smug: ... we'll see if it works out. I also want to do another portrait, and I have a landscape in mind too..... I just don't have enough time to do everything I wanna do ..... :crying: Could you please add 5 more hours into the day for me, pretty please???? I have a teenager, and she takes up soooooo much time, yeesh......

04-17-2013, 05:15 PM
Yea Chris! Two swipes and a button that looks a whole lot like I find in the dryer that need sewing back on my hubby's shirts. Amazing!

04-17-2013, 09:16 PM
The shirt is so fantastic, and the subtle incorporation of green in the sweater is a brilliant solution - this is so much fun to watch.

04-18-2013, 02:18 AM
Really is a splendid work you are making here !

Moises Menendez
04-18-2013, 07:04 AM
I am really impressed with your work and your patience. The attention of this great work goes to his eyes and the center of his face. You are very talented!

04-18-2013, 03:05 PM
Thanks Jen, you're too funny :lol: !

Thank you Grinner, incorporating some of the background color into the subject is always a good idea, as is the reverse, incorporating skin tones into the background. It harmonizes the whole painting, at least in my opinion it does.

Thanks so much toniov!

Thank you Moises, what a great compliement, I appreciate it.

04-18-2013, 03:08 PM
I have a small update. I tweaked the background on the left a bit, I worked on his shirt a little, brightening it a bit, and I worked around that famous button :lol: . I also worked on the sweater a little, trying to figure out that cast shadow on his shoulder. Now that darker spot in the upper right in the background is bothering me.... might need to tweak that :evil: .... I also need to get to our left side of his face, some softening....... I also think that crease in the sweater on our left, his right, needs to be toned down, it's a bit dark.

I am hoping to get more time on this over the weekend, keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks for looking!


04-20-2013, 04:59 AM
Very excited to see what the weekend brings! Side note - I hope that you will crosspost in the Portraits forum once this is done.

04-20-2013, 08:09 AM
The sweater is looking great and the shirt, wow! I love the reflected colour from his skin on the shirt.

04-20-2013, 10:01 AM
Chris....Oh Yeah. It is all working now, beautifully IMHO.
I forgot to mention how tough glasses are, to render, and you have done a super job.


04-20-2013, 11:16 AM
Your work continues to amaze me, just beautiful!

04-20-2013, 12:18 PM
Hey Chris, I've been away too. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, but am very glad the "spark" has returned (flame on!), and you're having FUN.

Even happier to see another WIP from you, with which you're doing a fantastic job! I see kindness in your uncle's eyes, which is a difficult thing ( I think) to get across.


yeah, you've set the Gold Standard on button/buttonholes lol!

04-20-2013, 01:58 PM
Amazing work, Chris, lovely to follow and indeed a perfect button.

04-21-2013, 05:22 AM
Chris, your work on this painting continues to inspire. Thank you for the WIP. Bob

Terry Wynn
04-21-2013, 10:27 AM
I am so sorry for your loss but so thrilled you are sharing your process with us of this painting. I see a familial likeness in his facial structure to your avatar!

But your details show such love and compassion for him. To me you captured that early on in your painting. The rest is icing but so beautifully painted. I can tell this portrait is coming from your heart.


04-23-2013, 02:00 PM
Thanks very much Grinner. Sure, I can post this in the Portrait Forum when I'm done.

Thank you Ruthie, I'm glad you noticed that reflected light, I thought it was neat when I saw it in the photo, I exaggerated it a bit here.

Thank you Derek. I actually didn't paint much of the glasses, there was a lot of negative painting going on, some of what looks like the glasses is really the paper showing through. I just stopped when it started working....

Thanks so much jezerus, I appreciate it.

Hey Kris, so nice to see you again! Thanks so much, yes that spark has returned... I guess it just takes the time it takes.... who would have thunk it, a button?????? lol....:lol:

Thanks Marina, yeah, that button..... :lol:

Thanks very much Bob, such a nice thing to say.

Thanks Terry, wow, a likeness to me huh? Well, I do look a bit like my dad, and he looks like his brother, sooo..... makes sense. It is nerve wracking to paint a family member, but for some reason I'm enjoying this one.

An update should be coming within the next day or so. I did more work onthe sweater, though it's not done yet. I need better light to take a photo, and today isn't great. I'll give it a try, but if the light isn't good it will have to wait until tomorrow.

05-07-2013, 02:22 PM
I believe I may be finished with this one..... the final size is 16" x 18", almost a square. Somehow that seems to work......... I see a custom frame in this painting's future :lol: . Right now this is as close to the original as I can get it.

I thoroughly enjoyed painting this one, I think I may now start another portrait, but not sure what it will be. It sure feels good to be done.

Thanks for looking!


05-07-2013, 02:36 PM
:eek: such a mastering! total respect! love it. Congratulation!:clap:

05-07-2013, 03:06 PM
Wow, Chris, absolutely beautiful, so harmonious.

05-07-2013, 07:43 PM
Chris, this really knocks me out. It is so warm and friendly. Reflections on the shirt collar, softness of the sweater and the 3 stroke button. Uncle Fralnk appears to be a gentle soul. Thank you for the WIP. I cannot wait to see your next portrait. Bob

05-07-2013, 09:19 PM
I've been eagerly awaiting the return of Uncle Frank! What a beautiful portrait. So many touches that make this breathe - just wonderful. Thank you for sharing it.

05-07-2013, 09:35 PM
Chris you have made him so real. A gentle kind man. I still love his sweater. This is a beautiful painting and I look forward to the next portrait you do. I hope you do it as a WIP too.

05-07-2013, 10:23 PM
Very happy to witness the makings of a beautiful Portrait Chris. Put it in a gorgeous frame it sure does deserve it. Wow.......wow.


05-07-2013, 11:47 PM
What a great portrait, love that background colour.
I can't wait to see the next one :)

05-08-2013, 04:17 AM
Great portrait! Sorry for loss, good to see you foundation the drive again. Keep on painting!

05-08-2013, 10:57 AM
Masterful portrait Chris! Yes, I'd love to see more of them. As so many have said, you really captured the warmth of this man, a difficult (I think) thing to do. Well, done!

05-08-2013, 11:12 AM
This is amazing!! I love it! Has Frank seen it yet, and what did he say??! What a wonderful piece. You should be thrilled! I know I am. Love the reflected light on the inside of the shirt collar, and the shadows under his neck. Truly outstanding work!

Terry Wynn
05-08-2013, 02:51 PM
Wonderful. Can't pick one thing. Hope he and Mrs. Uncle Frank both love it, too!


water girl
05-08-2013, 02:58 PM
As I've watched this progression, one words repeatedly comes to mind....love. There is a loving glow to this portrait that is very special.

05-08-2013, 02:59 PM
Wonderful portrait !

Mary Brigid
05-08-2013, 04:05 PM
I appreciate the time and energy you gave to share your progress with us. I enjoyed learning from your WIP. The portrait of your Uncle Frank is just wonderful. Thank you
Mary Brigid

05-10-2013, 01:02 AM
Thanks so much plt8769, you are so very nice!

Thanks Marina, I appreciate it. :heart:

Thank you Bob, you are so kind.

Thanks very much Grinner!

Thank you Jen, I do think I will do another portrait, just not sure who my victim is yet.... :evil:

Thank you Sir Derek, my Uncle is framing it. I'm sure it will be framed well, he is an artist also.

Thanks Dea!

Thank you Pat, yes, I will keep on painting!

Hey Kris, thanks so much! :heart:

Thank you FaeLynn. He hasn't seen the finished piece yet, but he's been getting progress updates. So far he's been very happy, I know my cousins (his children) are (they've been watching this on Facebook).

Thanks Terry, I hope so too!

Thanks very much Karen, that means a lot to me! :heart:

Thank you toniov!

Thanks so much Mary Brigid, I'm glad you enjoyed the wip.

05-10-2013, 01:16 AM
Masterful. Beyond words...

John Palmer Fine Art
05-10-2013, 09:30 AM
You have produced a truly special portrait here Chris, congratulations on creating a wonderful work of art!

05-11-2013, 12:14 PM
Hi Chris:wave:

My Oh My---what a beautiful portrait. He looks like such a warm and loving man---this is right up there with your Playing with the Angels. Now I have 2 favorites!
Superb!!!!!! If I may ask, could you give us a close-up or two?

05-12-2013, 11:48 AM
As an aside, my Uncle has seen the finished version and he loves it. His words were "It is just out of this world! It is hard to believe that you or anyone could get such beauty out of old me!" Both he and his wife are pastel artists and they are thrilled, and I am quite pleased with his response.

Thanks so very much Randy, I appreciate it.

Thanks very much John!

Thank you Judi, I am so glad you like my wip. Here is one close up for you:


05-12-2013, 12:18 PM
You must be so proud and pleased that your portrait has given so much pleasure, not only for your loved ones but for all of us who have thoroughly enjoyed the wip. It is a stunning piece of work. Respect.

05-12-2013, 02:36 PM
I appreciate the time and energy you gave to share your progress with us. I enjoyed learning from your WIP. The portrait of your Uncle Frank is just wonderful. Thanks alot for me, is a valuable:wave:

05-12-2013, 05:09 PM
Congratulations on this posting. I responded earlier on but it is amazing when you see how many pages of comments as well as the number of views you have received. Wonderful painting and no wonder they were pleased. Such talent. Pam:wave:

05-13-2013, 04:18 PM
Thanks so much twiglet, I really appreciate it.

Thank you AnnMargaret, I am pleased my wip is of use to you.

Thanks very much Pam. I know, I am overwhelmed by the response. I truly appreciate everybody's support and comments. Truly :heart: ....

05-14-2013, 07:11 AM
this is a masterpiece- i mean this in the best way- love the way you captured the wrinkles- the work of a genius!!

05-14-2013, 11:02 AM
Again, this is a masterpiece Chris. Landscapes, portraits, still life..is there anything you can't do? :envy:

I do think however, that you need a few more Unison pastels...
:evil: :evil: :evil:

05-14-2013, 03:04 PM
Thanks very much Joyfull_Artwork :heart: . I don't know about genius.... embarassed now.....I really appreciate your kind words, you're so very nice.

Again, this is a masterpiece Chris. Landscapes, portraits, still life..is there anything you can't do? :envy:

I do think however, that you need a few more Unison pastels...
:evil: :evil: :evil:

Thanks so much Kris. Oh yes I paint lots of garbage, I just don't post those anywhere. No one gets to see 'em. Those paintings never get to see the light of day, right into the bin they go! You devil you....... Unisons hey? You think? Maybe...... hard to resist aren't they?

05-29-2013, 08:28 AM
Chris...Wow....Every comment made here... DITTO!!!!!!! You are amazing :)

05-29-2013, 02:02 PM
Thank you so much Donna, I really appreciate it :heart: .

05-30-2013, 03:41 AM
Chris, I don't know how often I've opened this thread to see how your Uncle Frank (nearly feels like 'our' uncle Frank now!) was faring and I seem to completely have forgotten to post myself; must have been too stunned...You are my favourite portrait artist; your portraits are always so much more then just the masterful rendering of a person's appearance, they seem to capture a piece of their soul as well! Bravo and give us more (and please, always take pictures of the process, there is so much to learn!):clap: :clap: :clap:

05-30-2013, 06:02 PM
Thanks so much Dorothea, you're so very nice. I really appreciate your nice comments, it means a lot to me. My Uncle is so very pleased with the portrait, I am so happy I was able to do this for him.

Katie Black
05-30-2013, 07:23 PM
Wow....Extraordinarily good!

05-31-2013, 05:15 AM
Sigh, the first time I post in the studio for ages and all my posts have disappeared!
I did post here yesterday Chris to say what a fabulous finish to this wonderful portrait. You should be proud and I'm sure Uncle Frank is VERY proud of you!

05-31-2013, 05:48 PM
Thanks so much Katie!

Thank you Ruthie, he really does love it, the whole family does.

06-02-2013, 02:16 PM

So happy for you that you found your art again and have been able to share your love and talent with your lovely family- he looks like a great guy :)

Thanks for sharing this WIP with us, with me- it's very inspiring

06-04-2013, 02:34 PM
Thanks so much dannimac, I really appreciate it. I am pleased you enjoyed my WIP.

06-04-2013, 04:47 PM
Very Nice Work.

06-07-2013, 08:49 PM
Thank you Mark.

06-08-2013, 11:54 PM
Wonderful work!!

06-12-2013, 05:23 PM
Thank you Shireesh!

06-12-2013, 09:37 PM
I believe I may be finished with this one..... the final size is 16" x 18", almost a square. Somehow that seems to work......... I see a custom frame in this painting's future :lol: . Right now this is as close to the original as I can get it.

I thoroughly enjoyed painting this one, I think I may now start another portrait, but not sure what it will be. It sure feels good to be done.

Thanks for looking!


Fantastic portrait! Thanks for sharing the WIP! I'm bumping the finish forward past pages of comments cause I wanted to look at the finish or current state first as I usually do with WIP threads that are long. WOW! It's so cool he likes it that much too. I would if that was me!

I've got a lot to learn from this one!

06-13-2013, 09:37 PM
Thank you Robert! It's so nice to see you back here again, we missed you!

06-14-2013, 03:10 AM
Wow, this is a truly beautiful painting. Congratulations on creating such a masterful work! I look forward to seeing your next portrait in the near future (gently, cheeky nudge ;-))...

06-14-2013, 07:20 AM
Hi Chris!!

I also want to say that I am so sorry for your loss and I am also glad
that you are back:wave:

It is a very nice painting of your uncle. I Went to your blog and boy, the
blue, violets really is soo fantastic against his face. It is really nice Bright.

Which of the brands do you find the nicest blue in? Now I am interested at
looking at the Girault portrait set since I like painting portraits.

I hope you wil find inspiration this summer and that you will be very happy
painting in pastels!

06-14-2013, 06:15 PM
Hi Christine,
I looked at the finished portrait on your blog - it's just perfect! I love the colors, everything is working so well. "Painting it for yourself" approach really worked :)

06-16-2013, 01:48 PM
Thank you Katiepea, I'm sure I will do another portrait in the near future!

Thanks very much AnnaLisa. I appreciate you stopping by my blog, thanks very much for that. As for favorite blues, I really don't know what my favorites would be. In this one I found myself using Mount Visions, they really are nice. The Girault set I used for this one was the skin tone set, which is a bit different from their portrait set. It's strictly skin tones, a beautiful set that I highly recommend. Thank you for your support, I appreciate it, and yes I'm painting again, usually 3-4 days a week, sometimes more. It feels good. :D

Thanks so much Lana, and I appreciate your stopping by my blog too!