Thursday, August 30, 2012


A month ago I wrote about my first commission in a post titled "Mick's Dogs".  There is more to the story!  When I delivered the watercolor of Mick's three dogs to him he was thrilled.  The piece was a gift for his wife.  As we chatted at the coffee shop, which I painted in my July 5th post "Plein Air Painting", Mick said he had another project for me.  I was anxious to hear what it was since the dog portrait went well.  Mick wanted a portrait of himself.  Not a current portrait, but one of himself when he was in the Irish Army many years ago.  He didn't really have a photo for reference.  He emailed a YouTube video titled Royal Ulster Constabulary - A Tribute and said he wanted me to use the uniform and weapon shown at a certain minute mark in the video.  Mick also sent a few old photos of himself (which weren't quite that old) so I could insert his face on the proper uniform.  I was nervous since I hadn't done a personal portrait and this was going to be difficult.  I put it off.  I had a workshop coming up with Alvaro Castagnet and thought maybe I would learn some secret formula from him to help with this commission.  I put it off longer since I had another workshop coming up where I surly would learn something to give me confidence to try the portrait.  Neither workshop was about portrait painting.  I finally plunged in after Mick asked several times about it.  It took a couple weeks to finish.  I painted smallish areas, let them dry, and came back with more color and value while trying to have some of my own style show.  I was happy with it finally and hoped it looked like a much younger Mick and that the weapon was correct.  Thankfully Mick was pleased and said it did look like him and the weapon was right.  Great news!


  1. what a brilliant portrait and well done you!!!

  2. Great portrait and story too... you certainly get to some fabulous workshops!!!

    1. Thanks Judith! I'm really enjoying the workshops and do feel lucky there are quite a few near me.