Tag: Portraits

Paint a Portrait You Can Be Proud Of

Portrait - Painting from Photos

Closeup of Portrait - ©2009 Jacobson

Painting from Photos

Today you are painting a portrait from photos.

The project is to use the photos supplied and create an exciting portrait from photos. You’ll be using today’s electronic and digital tools. The Wacom® Cintique touch/pressure sensitive monitor. Paint with digital paints using Corel Painter 11

You are doing a portrait painting in the ultimate digital art studio.

Start each portrait in a similar way, but you’ll never use the same process twice.

Portrait painting or any painting from photos is always an event, a challenge and an exploration. It is very different than having the person or subject right there with you. The challenge is for you to feel like the person(s) is right there!

When you begin to talk to the photos, you know they are there.

Step 1 – Composition & Color Correction


Painting from Photos

Original Photo

The original photo was taken from a very high perspective. Here comes the challenge.

Using Adobe Photoshop…

Create a better composition.

You can chose to crop in much closer in order to capture the personality of the two adorable sisters.

Spend your time exploring different compositions.

Do color correcting and use colors that will inspire you to paint.

As the artist you must be inspired. You’ll get there if you keep exploring.

Step 2 – The Cropped Image

Painting from Photos - original photo
Cropped Image

How do you decide where to crop?

You love their little feet in the photo, but that just won’t work.Why won’t it work? …Because it’s their hair and eyes that should be the focus.

Sometimes you have to give up what you love, to be able to create a focus. After all…this is a portrait painting.

At this stage you have a color corrected and cropped image.

Save the composition.

You are now ready to paint using Corel Painter11.

Step 3 – The Block-in

Portrait Painting - Beginning
The block-in

The composition is cropped one more time. It is now Square.

You’re at the block-in stage.

Using Corel Paintier 11 play around with oil paint, acrylic paint and pastels.

Begin painting background colors that inspire you.

Now that you’ve changed that white canvas to a color-filled piece, roughly block-in the two little figures.

4 – Details

The block-in
The block-in

From the block in stage, you work a little at a time, and refine shapes.

No details yet, just keep refining shapes and values of tone (light, dark, midtone)

  • Keep painting
  • Move around the canvas
  • Refine the edges
  • When every shape (eyes are a shape, mouth is a shape, nose is a shape) is there (painted in)…
  • refine the details.

Just as you did with the shapes, keep moving around. You are painting details, all around the canvas.

Step 5- Portrait Painting from Photos – Completed

About 14 hours after the block-in stage, the final decision… It’s completed … it’s done!

And now you have, the perfect portrait painting.

Live with your painting for a few days, then look again. Refine any small details that  appear.

When you know you are proud of it, you are ready to print.

The painting is printed on a 20″ x 20″ canvas.

If you don’t want to paint your own portrait, check-out having one painted for you.

Portrait Painting

J&J Portrait 20"x20" ©2008 Jackie Jacobson


Custom Portraits

Portrait Paintings From Your Photos

Painting printed on canvas

Family Memories into Fine Art Portraits on Canvas

These are just a few of the people whose portraits I have painted.

  • Grandchildren
  • Children
  • Mom and Dad
  • Husband
  • Wife
  • Best Friend

Commission your painting as a gift to give or a family treasure to own. To create your custom portrait painting I use unique digital brushes, art materials and textures that mirror the look and feel of their traditional counterparts.

Trained as a classical portrait and figure artist, I use today’s modern mediums to create your unique painting. The lines and textures look like an original oil painting, and is printed on high quality, artist-grade canvas, and gallery wrapped on stretcher bars. No framing is required as the image continues around the sides of the canvas art.


Provide a couple of your favorite photos, and we’ll talk about the size and details for your portrait painting. Call me for scheduling and details…760.831.1190

Size 1st Print* 2nd Print*
16″ x 20″ $350 $150
20″ x 24″ $350 $150
20″ x 20″ $350 $150
24″ x 36″ $450 $250
30″ x 40″ $500 $300

Price Based on 1 Figure (Person) | $50 for each additional Figure

Are you planning a visit to the Palm Springs, California area? Bring your photos with you.

Meet me at the College of the Desert Street Fair. I’m in booth #75, every Saturday and Sunday, October – May.

Or call ahead for an appointment to have a personal tour of my studio and gallery in Palm Springs. 760.831.1190. I love spending time with people who are interested in art, painting and meeting the artist. Recent California visitors from Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Boston, and Vancouver BC have all enjoyed their art studio visits. If your vacation brings you to Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, Indio, Desert Hot Springs, Banning, Yucca Valley, East Hemet, Coachella, San Jacinto, Hemet, Beaumont, Yucaipa, Twentynine Palms, or any other close by city, then definitely drop by when you are in the area.


Drawing from the Model – 60 Minutes

Weekly Life Figure Drawing Series

Meet Model PB

Model PB  Final Drawing ©2009 Jacobson.

Model PB Final Drawing ©2009 Jacobson.

Sketching Process – 60 minutes Pose

I start with a 15 minute block-in quick sketch.

Art Materials Used

The Paper: White charcoal paper. When doing traditional drawing I use Canson Ingres paper with a laid finish. ( I was trained in the old masters style and that was their paper of choice)
The Top 10 charcoal and Pastel Papers are listed here. I’ve used most of them in the past 46 years. Find your favorites.

The Media:

  • Blunt Soft Pastel 40
  • Soft Charcoal Pencil 7
  • Pointed Blender Stump 30
  • Grainy Water Blender

  • NOTE: NO ERASER IS USED- When I want to change something I draw with the color of the paper to make the changes.

Here’s the progression of the 60 minute drawing session. USE PIC LENS FOR BEST VIEWING and start with Drawing 01 Block-in

Reminder: I am using Painter 11 and doing all of this drawing digitally. There is no difference for me between doing this directly on paper, or directly on my Wacom Cintique. It’s my hand that is drawing.

Set a timer and join in. Meet you here same time next week.

I’d love to see your drawings. Email me for critiques and conversation at jackiejart@aol.com


Model S – Quick Sketches

No Model Showed – Self Portrait

Live Model C – Portrait

Drawing From the Model -Quick Sketches

Weekly Life Figure Drawing Series

Meet Model S

Model S  Pose#06

Model S Pose#06

Quick Sketching – Short Poses

I have chosen Pose #6 for todays drawings. They are all short poses, from 1 to 10 minutes. Quick sketching is the warm up process. Usually done on newsprint paper, the model does a series of one minute poses for a 20 minute session. Then we move on to do 5 to 20 minute sketches.

Art Materials Used

The Paper : I love colored paper. My favorite paper is, Canson Mi-Teintes Drawing Papers and Pads.  My favorite color is Moonstone. Most art supply stores carry this paper, and I buy it online at Dick Blick Art Materials.

The Media: 6B Soft Pencil, Sketching Pencil 5, Soft Charcoal Pencil, Blunt Soft Pastel, Pointed Stump. Note: I DO NOT USE AN ERASER in quick sketching. The history of my marks are recorded and stay where I made them. For blending purposes, I sometimes use a kneaded eraser.

 One minute warm-up drawing is from the first 20 minute session.

1 Minute Warm Up

1 Minute Warm Up


 Drawing completed in 15 minutes from a 20 minute session. I stopped before the timer.
10 Minute Drawing

15 Minute Drawing

Reminder: I am using Painter 11 and doing all of this drawing digitally. There is no difference for me between doing this directly on paper, or directly on my Wacom Cintique. It’s my hand that is drawing.

Set a timer and join in. Meet you here same time next week.

I’d love to see your drawings. Email me for critiques and conversation at jackiejart@aol.com



No Model Showed – Self Portrait

Live Model C – Portrait

The Window Series – Models with Hats


Portrait Painting Demo



Using Photos for Reference


Today I am working in my ultimate digital art studio. 

This is an oil painting demo using the Wacom® Cintique touch/pressure sensitive monitor and Corel® Painter 11.

I will be demonstrating a portrait using photos supplied by the client.  

I start each portrait in a similar way, but I honestly think that I never use the same process twice.

For me, this is an event, a challenge and an exploration.

Join me in the journey.



Original Photo

Original Photo




Step 1



The original photo was taken from a very high perspective.

I chose to come in much closer in order to capture the personality of

the two adorable sisters.

I spent quite a bit of time exploring different compositions.



Cropped Image

Cropped Image




Step 2

This is the cropped image that I will use for the painting.

I love their little feet in the original photo, but that just won’t work.

And it’s their hair and eyes that become the focus.


The block-in

The block-in



Step 3

I decided to do a square composition, so I cropped again.

This is the block-in stage.

I play around with paint and color in the background,

and then roughly block-in the two little ones.



The block-in

The block-in


 Step 4



About 14 hours after the block-in stage, my final decision… It’s done!

And now we have, what I think is the perfect portrait of the sisters.

The painting is printed on a 20″ x 20″ canvas.

So…what do you think? 


















The above painting demonstration shows how I paint traditional portraits. It is how I was trained and what I know best.

But then…there is always time to learn something new. I have a wonderful client who wanted me to do a portrait of her grandson “Oliver.”

Of course, she wanted Oliver painted in the Andy Warhol style. I told her I can’t do Andy Warhol, but she insisted I could and so I give you…



Original Photo

Original Photo



 painted in the Andy Warhol style
 by Jackie Jacobson,
who said she couldn’t do it!
The print is on a 40″ x 40″ canvas and looks incredible in the grandmother’s home.



Oliver 4-Panel Primary
Oliver 4-Panel Primary



Well there it is. How I paint portraits.

It’s really a brief summary of a long process, but I hope you get the idea.

I love doing portraits. And I’d love doing a portrait for you. 

 You can find some of the details in the portrait painting section,

on the right hand side of this page.

 But you can find out much more by giving me a call,

and discussing your needs.

 I just finished a wedding portrait for a couple

that were married 40 years ago in a backyard wedding.

 They are thrilled to finally have a memory

from that special day, so very long ago.


Summer is my time off from the street fair and the perfect time for me to spend painting portraits.

I hope I can do a special piece just for you. 

Thanks for taking your time to watch this demo with me.


I’d love to hear your comments. 

Please leave one.




©2009 Jacobson. All rights reserved.

All artwork & material on this site is copyrighted by the artist.

No image, either in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of the artist.