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My Portraits of People

Updated on April 3, 2013

by John Norman Stewart

I've been painting portraits for a number of years now. I did a number of them when I was a Scenic Artist for the Hollywood film studios. Bette Davis, Brian Keith, Henry Winkler, Whitney Houston, James Brolin, Billy Idol and quite a few others. It is always a challenge to capture the personality behind the surface of the face. This lens shows a variety of my portrait work and hopefully will stimulate artists to try painting people.

Portrait of Ed

This is an oil portrait of a man named Ed, who happens to be my sister's good friend. I painted it for a small portrait workshop that I was doing at a gallery in a nearby town.

Portrait of Christian

This is a watercolor portrait that I did from a photo that I took of a friends son. Very animated.

Portrait of An Old Man

I did this pencil drawing 50 years ago in La Crescenta, California. I remember that my rent was $75 a month for a 2 bedroom house. The drawing was inspired by a photograph in Life Magazine but also had influences of my grandfather and father in it.

A Simplified Explanation of the Portrait Painting Process

A Simplified Explanation of the Portrait Painting Process:

(1) Establishing the placement and the scale of the subjects head and then drawing the facial features and hair.

(2) Painting the masses of the hair and shadows along side of the face, under the eyebrows, nose, lips and under the neck.

(3) Start mixing the flesh tones, laying in the larger areas, then painting the shadows in the lower third of the face.

(4) Painting the middle third of the face and lightening the color to block in the forehead.

(5) At this point you will want to block in the background and garment in order to have references to judge the values and color temperature of the flesh tones.

(6) The next important step in the process is to restate and anchor the shadows, midtones and highlights.

(7) Using a soft sable brush you can get into the details of the facial features. Then you can blend the outline of the hair with the background colors.

(8) When you are happy - consider it finished.

Miniature Portrait of Eugenia

Eugenia is an artist in her own right and I put one of her paintings behind her when I did this miniature watercolor. It is actually about the size that you are now seeing on your monitor. Eugenia's father used to hang out with Escher in a bar/pub in Holland when she was a little girl. Some of that influence seems to have rubbed off on her.

Portrait of Frank

Frank has one of those faces that you need to paint, the moment you meet him. He and his wife Daphne, are right out of the Hippie era and might even be still in it. They are also wonderful patrons of the arts.

Pencil Portrait of Frank

Same as above but in pencil this time......

Miniature Portrait of a Girl

This one is purely imaginary, but I like her anyway......She is done in watercolor.

A Self Portrait in Pencil

I did this pencil drawing on a watercolor block at an artist's co-op that I belonged to in Ferndale, California (2004?). Through a mirror, darkly......

Some of My Movie Art

This is a promotional piece that I made with photos of art projects that I had worked on in film. The time period is from 1975 til the early 1990's.

Old Character Study

This is a digital drawing that I did in Corel Painter IX from a photo of an old man with an intriguing face.....

Portrait of Roger

This is an acrylic portrait that I did of my friend Roger. If you click on his face you will be taken to a Squidoo lens that I did especially for him.

Portrait of Lou

Lou is an artist that sometimes hangs out at The Red Bluff Art Gallery when she's not traveling abroad or to her other home in the East.

Portrait of Jack Benny

None of you are probably old enough to remember this amazing comedian who performed on radio and later on TV in the 50's. His name was Jack Benny and you can Google him for more information. We really enjoyed him.

A Portrait in Progress

Here's one that I'm working on right now, as we speak. I did a small version in watercolor and the finished portrait is going to be in acrylic on clay board.

Three Done for Films

The top two I painted for a Bette Davis production called "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home". The bottom picture was a large 8 x 8 foot portrait of Billy Idol that I did for a movie called "St. Elmo's Fire".

Portrait of Woody Allen (Juskidding)

Seriously folks, I was at a bridal shower for my step son and his fiance at a very nice restaurant in Chico, California, and I couldn't resist doing this.....

Road Warrior

This was done from the imagination in charcoal on a large watercolor block. It is called "Road Warrior" because I left it on top of my car while loading another painting and drove 25 miles home, realizing my error half way home. I called my friend and gallery owner Ana Nelson who retraced my route and found it on the road about a mlle away from the gallery. Thank you Lord!

Guestbook for Portrait Lovers

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    • jnstewart profile image

      John Norman Stewart 4 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @anonymous: Hello Fascinating: Glad you were inspired and appreciate your checking out the lens. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wonderful portraits, I'm rubbish at shading, feel inspired to have another go!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just love the portraits. Thank you for sharing

    • patinkc profile image

      patinkc 6 years ago from Midwest

      @jnstewart: Sorry I wasn't clear. Pencil Portrait of Frank is the one I mean.

    • jnstewart profile image

      John Norman Stewart 6 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @patinkc: Hi PatinKC: I'm guessing that it's the pastel portrait that you like. It's hard to go wrong with Frank's interesting features. That piece is actually on lay-away at the gallery, as we speak. It's the second time I've used pastels for a portrait.

    • patinkc profile image

      patinkc 6 years ago from Midwest

      I'm blown away by the portrait of Frank!