View Full Version : Abraham Lincoln 3- Pastel 18x24- Ken Tiessen

05-30-2015, 11:44 AM
My new 18x24 portrait of Lincoln in pastel on Canson paper- he was in his late 40's here in 1857 when re-entering politics and without his trademark beard. A few years later, when he was campaigning for the Presidency, an 11 year-old girl wrote him suggesting he grow one as it would help him get elected, and he did so and won the election.

My previous Lincoln portrait of 1864 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=608707) is now in Springfield, Illinois and part of a Civic Collection in which the work is shown in various public venues, including the Mayor's office.

I liked the younger pose and was especially attracted by the tousled hair-
A close-up of this art is on my site along with a wonderful comment he made about this image and his hair-


05-30-2015, 05:09 PM
Fantastic portrait, Ken! The hair and skin tones are perfect. So is the clothing. You've created a wonderful piece of art.

05-30-2015, 06:24 PM
Impressive! I'll pop over to your site too.


05-30-2015, 06:40 PM
Oh this is a good and unusual one, painting him before the beard is cool! Seems very informal and positive.

05-30-2015, 10:56 PM
Impressive. Wonderfully done!

05-31-2015, 05:55 AM
Wow from her, too! Love the way you portrayed him so alive, not in a statue kind of way. Wonderful work!!!

05-31-2015, 01:21 PM
Blayne- Thank you very much! It was great to do pastel portraiture again as I've been working a lot lately in oil and landscape. I'm glad you enjoy it-

05-31-2015, 01:22 PM
Hi Jay- Thanks! I appreciate you looking into the site- I just did a big update,too! (It's in Flash, so doesn't work on iPhone/IPad)

05-31-2015, 01:25 PM
Hi Robert- Thank you! It is a great pose- he does seem hopeful and positive. A special attraction for me was the hair as I mentioned. He appears much younger in this also- the responsibilities of Presidency and the Civil War took a great toll on him later on..

05-31-2015, 01:26 PM
Randy- Thanks very much!

06-01-2015, 11:28 AM
Just awesome! Yes, hopeful and positive and also kindness and confidence just ooze from this painting!! I always love looking at your work. :)

Donna T
06-01-2015, 04:52 PM
Abe looks like he could walk right out of that portrait, Ken! It must be hard enough to get a good likeness but to get it with a mood too is quite an accomplishment!

06-02-2015, 08:55 AM
Hi Donna- I don't know exactly how that spontaneity happens but am grateful it does. More and more I 'follow' the work letting it guide the way, rather than pushing it ahead of me. It is more enjoyable to do and takes the portrait into new and interesting directions. Thank you for the wonderful comment!

06-02-2015, 08:58 AM
Hi Bethany- Thank you very much! I am glad that the portrait shows those great qualities- my admiration continues to grow with every new story of his life. I'm glad you enjoy the work, and appreciate your nice comments-

06-02-2015, 09:18 AM
Really awesome. Very well done!

06-02-2015, 09:56 AM
Hi Joel- Thanks very much! Check out the website too-

06-04-2015, 08:17 PM
I hate to get technical but do you mind sharing what brands/kinds of pastel you used on this? It is so good

06-05-2015, 08:22 AM
Hi Greg- No worries! Sennelier, Ludwig, and Schmincke and possibly others- it is a mix that I don't separate and am not brand-exclusive. However, if you've not tried Terry Ludwig's intense dark set you ought to look into them.

06-05-2015, 03:49 PM
Thanks. Just ordered my first bunch of pastels so I haven't tried any yet! Looks like such an intrigeing medium

06-07-2015, 08:37 AM
Hi Greg- Welcome to Pastels! You will enjoy them-the ground is also important so try many different ones: Canson, sanded paper, and you can also make your own etc.. Have fun!

06-07-2015, 09:22 AM

06-07-2015, 11:36 AM
Ken--spectacular. I know of the reference photo and you've absolutely captured it.

I paint Lincoln over and over and over. I find him endlessly fascinating as a subject. His face is amazing, and to study it is comforting. I find I improve and learn the more I paint him. I have many more things to learn.

Your portraits are an inspiration. You are a superb draftsman.

06-08-2015, 08:23 AM
Mary- Thanks!

06-08-2015, 08:28 AM
Hi- Thank you! I'm glad you enjoy the portrait.

Lincoln was an amazing man- his vision, strength, kindness, and trials he endured were beyond anything one could imagine. I have great admiration for him and the portraits are a small homage.

I appreciate your kind words about my work- I love portraits and sharing them a great joy of mine.