Friday, November 18, 2011


Neha is next in my portrait series.  She is another close friend of mine, and also an artist here in Chicago.  I am really lucky to have a great network of friends and artists that are willing to participate in this series.  You can check out her art and website HERE.  

This is a how the portrait came together:

Working from a photo that I've cropped to a square, I half my panel vertically and horizontally to find the center, and measure to find the center of the photo, which happens to be just under Neha's nose.  This gives me a starting point for drawing in the shapes.

(this photo was taken at night so it's a little off in color)

I've developed a habit of starting with the eye in light, then work my way out, trying to see each neighboring piece of color.

 Attempting to place these flat blocks of color right next to each other hopefully in the exact area I want them to go, then leave alone - no blending. 

Continuing out and around until finally piecing in her hair, hat and background.  Adding strong red outlining around her shoulders and neck, and the final bits of contrasting color.  

Thanks for reading! 
Hummmm ... now who's next? :)


Kate Lewis said...

this painting is stunning! i was thrilled to be able to view it in person. neha's hair is a great abstract painting in and of itself. i especially like the yellow and pops of hot pink. well done! i'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what you post next. :)

Jennifer said...

Yes, love all of the colors! And those eyes!

Pragya Tiwari said...

Lovely! Thanks for sharing the process :)

Marilyn said...

I can imagine you and Neha smiling at this finished piece. What a confident expression...color and brush work too - wow. Love when you let us into your studio, Karen.

kayce hughes said...

beautiful subject and beautiful painting.

Neha Vedpathak said...

Thanks Karen for making me part of your portrait series. Its awesome to be able to look at myself through your eyes. :)

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I love seeing the progression here Karen. Your drawing is so accurate. And thanks for bumping cupcake Barbie off of my side links. She was a bit unnerving sitting there in the frosting.... ;)

silvina said...

Gorgeous! What a striking portrait. I love the brushwork in her hair and eyes. I can't tell; is she sitting on frosting?

Karen Appleton said...

Thank you Kate!!! I LOVED getting your feedback in person, always an inspiration being in your gorgeous home and studio!!

Hey Jennifer! I know .. those eyes were sooooo much fun to paint! Thank you!!

Thank you so much Pragya! It was fun for me to show the painting's progress I'm so glad you enjoyed!!

Hi Marilyn! So perfect! Neha is a very confident beautiful person, so glad that comes across in the painting!! Thank you so much!

Thank you Kayce! I'm lucky to have such willing beautiful friends!!

Neha! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous face with us!! :)

ha ha ha Mary!!! You are cracking me up! I'm so sorry, yes Barbie was up a bit too long!! :D I wanted to make sure everyone had plenty of time to soak her in!! :D

OH MY GOSH Silvina! You are awesome!!!! :D As far as Neha sitting on frosting .... aren't we all?? :D I know I am!

Fay Terry said...

Beautiful portrait,Karen and I am so glad you showed your process.

Sharon said...

I've just come across your blog...from a comment left on Lisa Daria's painting blog....I just love your painting, wow, really exquisite, and you bake too! Lovely!

sarah said...

Love Love LOVE your work... so pleased to have met you :) Let's do coffee sometime and connect our right brains! (left too) !
check out

Beauty Follower said...

Like the way you painting portraits, very powerfull image.