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Category: Dave the Painting Guy

Canvas Stretcher Preparation and Shipping Crate

I’ll be starting a “boardroom portrait” soon. The finished painting — 24″ x 30″ — will hang in the Daniel Library at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a famous military college, and my client is the Citadel, honoring an alumnus of the Citadel (1963) and a local-to-me business man who personally located me and asked that I create his portrait.

The college has a history going back to before 1850, and many (maybe all) of the past presidents and a few other important alumni have had their portraits hung in the Daniel Library. Since this painting will be around for a very long time, I wanted the canvas to be sturdier than what standard stretchers would provide, and didn’t want to order the beefier stretchers online and wait for them to arrive, so here’s what I did instead.

Standard stretchers backed with 1 x 2 furring pine.

If you look closely, you can see the two layers of wood.

I started with a stock, pre-stretched canvas. The canvas is usually very generic cotton duck on ready-mades, so I removed the staples and set that canvas aside for practice paintings later. I’ll stretch Claessen’s #166 Belgian Linen over it for the final painting. Very high quality, and a wonderful weave for portraits.

Bostitch Nailer

I bought this refurb at Amazon for about $60 and it works great.

I used the existing dimensions to mark my 1 x 2 furring strips. 1 x 2 lumber in the USA is actually 3/4″ x 1.5″ and they call that “nominal.” Whatever. The ready-made canvases often have the benefit of having only one side bevelled, unlike stretcher bars that are user-assembled and have “goof-proof” double-bevelled surfaces. (The bevel is there to lift the canvas off the remaining wood, so that the artist doesn’t keep hitting it while painting, as the canvas flexes downward. It also provides airflow behind the canvas which helps preserve it from environmental problems, like mildew.) Since these pre-mades have a flat, not-bevelled back, they are appropriate for gluing and tacking on furring strips. I use a small compressor and this Bostitch 18-gauge pneumatic nailer I got at Amazon to drive 1-1/4″ brads. It requires 35-60psi pressure and shoots a variety of nail lengths from 5/8″ to 2 1/8″.


Flipped on its face, I added a cross-bar between and in the middle of the long sides from the same furring material (battens, in the UK) and inset it slightly to reach more toward the middle of the double-thickness. Glued and nailed with a brad. This will add strength to keep the 30″ span from bowing when I tighten the canvas.

Before stretching the linen, or even beginning a painting, I build the shipping crate. Even though the subject of my painting is local, after his approval, it will be shipped some 2500+ miles away. I want it to get there safely.


I want the crate to be sturdy but light. So I build it from 3/8″ plywood and more furring strips. The painting will sit down into the box, resting on 1 x 2s that act as spacing and a structure to which I can attach the back panel.


The crate allows for 1/4″–3/8″ “breathing room” around the perimeter of the finished canvas. I do this all now, because I don’t want to be doing trial-fits and measuring with a finished painting! For one thing, there’s a lot of sawdust. Sawdust and fresh oil paint are not friends, in my book.

Not shown — yet — are the item I will use later to secure the painting in place for shipping. This extra breathing room is just enough for some dense, spongy padding, and the painting is held securely down with some mounts I have created for this purpose. Stay tuned, I’ll post another article with those details.


Since the back is fixed (unlike the lid which must be easily removable), I piece it together from some leftover plywood from previous crates and reinforce the seam inside, glued and nailed with brads. A proper-size full panel would have been better, but I didn’t want to run to the hardware store, and this will do fine. Plenty strong.


I vacuum out all the sawdust. Then I paint a coat of exterior varnish on the entire interior. I don’t want any sawdust coming loose in shipping and adhering to my finished painting — which will be naked inside this crate.


I don’t do anything special like sanding. I’m just using it as a sealer. It’s water-based varnish and the brush cleans easily with soap and warm water — and there are no heavy fumes. Nice stuff. About $15 per quart. And no, I would never use it on an oil painting.


It will be dry in under an hour.


I painted the finished work over several days at my uStream Channel

You can “subscribe” to my channel on to be notified when I click my camera on. Or watch from the Show page on my other website: Dave the Painting Guy.

New Podcast Episode with the Late Doris Oden Darrow

Doris Oden Darrow -- June 10, 1928--December 10, 2012

This podcast Episode 3, is with my inspiration for art and my most loving critic: My mom, Doris Oden Darrow. Months before she passed away, I sat with her to record old memories of life just getting started as a young married woman of 20. “What was that like?” I learned a lot listening to her. And I think you’ll find it fascinating.

Episode 3 of the “Drawing On Experience” podcast by David R. Darrow

New Audio Podcast episode with Thomas Blackshear and Frank Ordaz

Photo ©Frank Ordaz

Photo ©Frank Ordaz

New Audio PaintCast™ Episode available today from Dave the Painting Guy’s “Drawing On Experience.” Free!

Interview includes Thomas Blackshear and Frank Ordaz, and has all the charm of listening on a conversation between 3 old illustrators who haven’t seen each other in 30 years. Very funny stuff.

Recorded one year ago; finished off yesterday.

Cleaning Your Kohinoor Rapidograph Pens the Dangerous Way.

Assembling a cleaned Rapid-o-Graph pen

Assembling a cleaned Rapid-o-Graph pen.
Click for larger.

Disclaimer: You are responsible for what advice you choose to follow and the results. Common sense and Great Care are your friends. Proceed at your own risk.

Yeah, Kohinoor is pretty adamant about never taking apart your Rapidograph pen! But I’ve been cleaning my same Kohinoor pens for over 40 years. You just have to be very careful, especially on pen-sizes smaller than #1.

Canister Style Kohinoor pen case.

Canister-style Kohinoor pen case.

Here’s how
After the parts of the pen and pen nib (tip) have been throughly cleaned (there is no substitute for Kohinoor’s own brand of ink solvent: Rapidoease, in a 4oz jar or 8oz bottle, which, unlike other cleaners, will not eat into plastic or metal), you’ll want to reassemble the pen in the following order, with these well-tested steps.

  1. Hold the empty nib (2) in your non-dominate hand, with the metal tip pointing downward. Pick up the cleaning-needle and weight assembly (1) in your dominate hand, needle downward, and gently lower into the nip. DO NOT push it in! Let its own weight be all the pressure needed. If the weighted needle (1) does not drop all the way in, lift it out slightly and drop it straight down (needle downward) trying to visualize the tiny, centered tube you must drop the needle into. Again, DO NOT press it down, as this will likely ruin the needle, rendering the pen unusable. Lift and drop over and over until it finally drops in properly.
  2. Once (1) drops into (2) successfully, the back cap (3) will fit over the metal end of the weight (1) and press into the nib (2). It makes a tight seal by fitting into the inside back-end of the nib.
  3. Thread the assembled nib into the grip (4)
  4. Fill the reservoir (5) with KohiNoor black ink for technical pens, or a good quality water-based ink for easier cleaning. Fill no less than 75% capacity.
  5. Holding the reservoir with the opening upward, press the back end of the body into the opening until there is a snug fit.
  6. Finally, place the ring (6) over the reservoir (5) and thread it onto the body (4), and if you have an extension handle (not shown) thread it onto the ring, making a full-sized pen.
  7. Cap it and store it, tip upward.
If you have one of those canister style pen kits, you can hold it to your drawing table by slipping the shorter part of the metal “L” into the slot at the base, then loosening the wing-nut to open the gripper to just wider than the table thickness, then tightening the wing-nut until you have a snug grip.

Now, get to drawing!

Using the supplied table clamp.

Using the supplied table clamp.

If You’re a Painter, Drive Politely.

I just got a phone call a few minutes ago, in my home, from a fellow who sounded a bit agitated.

“Is this Dave?”

“Yes it is, who’s this?” I usually don’t give out info without finding out the nature of the call.

This morning’s caller sounded like one of my friends, kind of.

“Dave the painter?” he demanded?

“Well, yes, in some circ—”

Sometimes a person will punch in a wrong number and get me by accident, and in their confusion they’ll ask “Who is this?” My favorite response is, “Well, I can’t tell from here. I can’t see you.” There’s usually a bit of silence before they explain.

“Is this your white truck parked in front of me?” he cut in.

“Um… where are you?” I asked as I went to the kitchen window only to see a calm, empty street in front of my home.

“I’m in San Jose, just ready to enter Sunnyvale… I’m trying to find the sonuvabitch that just cut me off the road, and there’s a truck in front of me with “Dave the Painter” on it.

“No, that’s not me. I’m not in a white truck. I’m in my kitchen. And I don’t own a white truck.”

Whew! I was able to talk him down to calm, but, man! sometimes the confusion about how to explain to people what I do can be dangerous. “I’m an artist” is way too vague. “I’m a painter” often results in gratuitous requests for a quote for three rooms and the garage. “I paint people” sounds like a performance piece for a warehouse art gallery opening in San Francisco.

I told him I paint portraits, not houses.

I hope he feels better, soon. It must have been a let down to reach a gentle paint-pusher on the phone in his kitchen making coffee.


I got to visit my friend George yesterday. George is now officially a collector of my work, owning 2 of my paintings. George sneaked in at the last moment and snagged my John Wayne in Acrylic the other day. George is a painter, too, and he and I became acquainted in 2007 because George had found my work on eBay, looked me up and even sent me a painting of myself from a photo on a blog entry about a day I went plein air painting and my painting blew off the easel landing ‘jelly side down.’

George is one of the kindest men I have met, and in many ways his gentleness and careful choice of words, easy laughter and substantial vocabulary remind me of my own father who passed away in 2005. I would venture that If it weren’t for his knack for story telling, and his myriad stories from his career, you’d probably never guess he spent a good portion of his life as a Special Agent for NCIS (NCISA Who’s Who Story: scroll halfway down).

I delivered the painting to him and he smiled, thanked me, shook my hand and set it down on his coffee table. I had to admit to George that I could not imagine why he wanted another painting. Far from being self-effacing with that question, I was referencing George’s enormous collection of paintings, the vast majority of which are his own. He long ago ran out of wall-space in his four bedroom home, and both sides of his garage are modeified with shelves loaded with paintings, categorized and alphabetized. It’s like a library or vinyl album collection, only it’s all paintings on panels or canvas, sometimes still in frames, but mostly loose.

As we drank a glass of wine together, we talked about art, painting, his career, his fun memories of his duties an a special agent, the art of getting a confession (for much of his career he obtained more confessions from criminals than anyone else around using psychology, relationship-building and a polygraph machine — much more often than not, the polygraph was unnecessary), and of course we talked about Pearl.

He’s done between 2– and 300 paintings of his late wife Pearl among the hundreds if not thousands of paintings he’s done. Pearl was the love of his life and he is never at a loss for words describing the beauty and gentleness of the woman who preserved his heart in a career that could have stripped him of it.

"I’ve never known a more selfless person in my whole life," he sighs.

Sadly, cancer took her life 7 years ago, and George was left with a home full of memories of her and their children together — and his box of paints. He visits her grave site a couple of times a week, and talks to her, hoping she’s around somewhere to hear.

I once heard that a "real" artist is one who will spend days, weeks or months on a creative pursuit and never care if anyone ever sees the work. This is largely true of George. The vast majority of his oil paintings are in deep stacks along the walls in his studio, the garage, on the piano, and so on. He mostly does portraits and figures, and if it were not for a visit to his home, or catching his fancy as a friend to whom he’d like to give an original portrait, you’d never know otherwise that he paints. He’s doesn’t try to sell them, but for some commissions he talks about. Many people who have been blessed to know him have received a portrait from him as a gift.

Painting is what he loves to do to pass the slow-moving time and remember his friends, and especially his favorite model of all time, Pearl.

Feminine Study in 5 Values

Feminine Color Study in 5 Valuesby David R. Darrow
6" x 6" (15.2cm x 15.2cm)
Oil on Panel
Collection of Denise Rich,
El Cajon, CA – USA

About This Painting

Sometimes an artist wants to see what he or she can accomplish with as few strokes as possible and still communicate to the viewer the essence of what the artist saw.

To do this four fundamentals are needed, Drawing (Proportion), Value (Light to Dark), Edges (Transitions between shapes and hues) and Color (Hue). These have been listed in the order of importance, in my opinion.

Here, I did a study using 5 values of a few hues in rapid fashion to “make notes” of the model’s face. Rendering and realism are not important here, just the placement and shape of the values. ◙

Sarah A

Sarah Aby David R. Darrow
6" x 6" (15.2cm x 15.2cm)
Oil on Panel
Collection of Dan Medcalf,
Indianapolis, IN – USA

About This Painting

This study is of one of the viewers of my internet broadcast (Dave the Painting Guy) who is an enthusiastic artist and my friend, Sarah A.

This started purely as an experiment to paint using our modern technological advances. Sarah, who lives 2500 miles from me, posed for me via a Skype video connection, and this ended up being painted from a screen-capture. I was going to try to paint her live, but was having tech-issues with the connection that day.

Sarah is a lovely young woman, gracious in personality and appearance and was a pleasure to paint. ◙

Open Letter to Langnickel Royal Brush Co.

Contact Addresses: &

Royal Brush Manufacturing
6707 Broadway
Merrillville, Indiana 46410
United States

Please deliver to the President/CEO of Royal Brush Manufacturing

Dear Langnickel,

I don’t know if you guys realize what a gold mine you are sitting on, and how you are squandering the value of it through manufacturing inconsistencies (handle length, handle color, unavailability, etc.) and quality inconsistencies.

Admittedly, I don’t know if the market for your Royal Sable (series 55xx) is currently big enough to reorganize your manufacturing processes, but I do know that virtually every major portrait artist and influential oil painter I know who uses Langnickel brushes is actively looking for a suitable alternative, citing the same things I experience on a regular basis.

First of all, let me tell you that everyone I know, who I have convinced to give your Royal Sable long-haired, long-handled filberts a try LOVES them. It’s an absolutely BRILLIANT concept… The shape is flawless and the fiber length is unmatched. The springiness is superb, and the strength of the hairs is wonderful. I paint better because of these brushes.

Just a few of the names of influential artists I know who use your brushes: Morgan Weistling, Richard Schmid, Jeremy Lipking, Dan Gerhartz, Casey Baugh and many, many others, including myself. I personally have a live broadcast venue, (Dave the Painting Guy) that reaches over 500 interested viewers (and rapidly growing), many of whom always want to know what brand/series of brushes I use.

I always tell them the brand name and series, but I always add, “You will come to love and hate Langnickel Royal Sable brushes. You will love them because they feel right. They apply paint just right. But you will hate them because you never know what you’re going to get with them, and they do not manufacture enough for the market — they are very difficult to find.”

I tell them plainly that I can receive in the same batch purchased a brush that lasts for months, even years, and a brush that loses half or even all it’s hairs immediately when I pinch out the oil into a rag. Many of my Royal Sables have become useless in an hour or two because of so many lost hairs that the remainder do not stay on the ferrule any more. (Can’t you embed the hairs in an epoxy or glue to keep them inside?)

These brushes shed like no other brush I have owned. This is one of the only frustrating outside influences I experience when painting, interrupting the flow of the usual problem-solving that is the joy of painting.

One of my favorite brushes is virtually always out of stock, everywhere I look: the 5520 #8, blue handle.

By the way, what’s with blue handles and red handles in the same series number? It is my belief that the filberts, 5520-blue have longer hairs than the 5520-red — why don’t you have a different series number if they are going to be that different? If they are not supposed to be different, please note that they are extremely different, and these inconsistencies are hurting your popularity.

And if you’re going to have long-handled brushes or short-handled brushes, PLEASE make them a different series number. When ordering by phone (the only way I will order Langnickel brushes) I always request that the sales person get hold of the brushes personally so I can ask about the length of the hairs, the length of the handles, the color of the handles, etc., BECAUSE there is no consistency.)

Look, some of the most popular in influential artists in the US use Langnickel bushes, and virtually every artist who likes their work always wants to know what kind of brushes the artist uses. You cannot buy honest word-of-mouth advertising, and there is no such advertising more believable, therefore important.

Is there anything you can do to improve the quality, consistency, series numbering and availability of Your Royal Sables in the 5520, 5525, 5590 series and others?

I sincerely want to promote your brushes with no “buts”…

David R. Darrow
<address and phone number omitted here>

Update #1
I just received (less than 2 hours later) a phone call from ‘George’ who owns Royal/Langnickel who apologized for the inconsistency in the brushes, and promised he will see what he can do to introduce better consistency, check the cement inside the ferrules, etc. — I dunno. But he did say to send them any brushes I am dissatisfied with and they will replace them.

Please, if you read all this and agree, leave comments to this blog post below, and also write to Langnickel yourself. If they are doing their job right, they will be searching the web to find out what people think of their product. Be kind and be to the point. Be encouraging. Let them know how you as a painter would prefer their brushes could be improved. Everyone is having a harder-than-usual time of things these days.

Update #2
Following George’s call to send them any of my brushes which have been poorly manufactured, I mailed 3 of my brushes which had either become poorly shaped because of loose hairs/fiber or brushes the ferrule of which I had to crimp with a pliers.

(I mailed them by sandwiching them in a folded piece of corrugated cardboard 1.5″ loner at each end than the brushes; included a letter explaining that the fibers were coming out too easily; sealed it, addressed it, stamped it.)

Within a reasonable amount of time, I was shipped free replacement brushes, along with a letter explaining that they understood the handle/series confusion, and explained that they are aware of an issue with the glue or cement they are using, and are switching over to a newer one. Some of the brushes previously manufactured with the older cement are still in “circulation” in various inventories, so they cannot guarantee that won’t happen again in the short term, but the letter reiterated that “Langnickel stands behind all its brushes. You may return any that are unsatisfactory and we will replace them.”

Update #3
2014, October 7 — Langenickel has stopped manufacturing these, but the good news is you can get a far superior version from Rosemary & Co., a handmade brush company in the UK. The Rosemary & Co. Master’s Choice Series brushes, which solve all the problems of the Langenickels and match the specifications of leading portrait painters who worked with her to develop these fine brushes can be purchased from a USA distributor, Claudia Williams, from her website.

Dave the Painting Guy – New Show Time

Painting Alexandra, with my head briefly in the wayContinuing Alexandra

Dave the Painting Guy starts at an all-new time!

That’s right! Beginning tonight, the show will start at 5:00pm Pacific Time (GMT -7) instead of what viewers have come to expect, namely 5:00pm Pacific Time (GMT -8).

"But, Dave…" some of you object, while others simply ask, "Huh?"

A Brief History of Time
according to Dave the Painting Guy

The astute among my readers will notice the important difference (no, not the bold text styling), the GMT time reference. Greenwich Mean Time, is, to the best of my understanding, based on the location of the Greenwich (GREN-itch) Royal Observatory’s 24-hour solar clock, where the people in charge of keeping it’s time accurate are known to be exceptionally impatient, rude and vicious, hence ‘mean time.’

They were so stingy (the traditional British definition of the word "mean"), in fact, they announced that they would be the only ones on the planet with accurate time, and everyone else had to get their own. I know! Isn’t that mean?

Well, from that moment forward, the rest of the world has had to scramble around to figure out what time it really is. Of course, here in the USA, we have been fighting British Rule using passive/aggressive behavioral techniques since we started: having Tea Parties dressed like Indians, changing the shape and rules of football (including the use of hands!) and inventing Daylight Savings Time.

Don’t tell me American’s don’t know how to thumb their noses at the oppressive British.

Setting the Clock ForwardHow Does This Affect You?

Five-6ths of the population of the whole planet, except for two renegade US states, Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii, and some of our territories, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa will have to tune in to view Dave the Painting Guy one hour earlier than they used to!

If you live among the 48 US States* that wimped out when they came up with this crazy idea that you can ‘save daylight’ (really? where would you keep it?), you will just need to watch your clock (assuming that sometime this past weekend you set it forward 1-hour in compliance) and tune in to Dave the Painting Guy at 5pm California time, which is GMT -7, now. This is much easier to calculate in certain parts of the world than, say, Australia, where my Monday evening show starts at 10am Tuesday morning.

See? The folks in Greenwich are mean!

*To be fair, Indiana wimped out on April 2nd 2005.

Anyway, however you figure it, I will see you this evening, March 9, 2008 at 5pm – just click here.

Corpsman Meeks Back in the Studio Tonight

Broadcast Screen Shot 

Kyle Meeks in studio for live portrait, last night.

I had an unexpectedly great time painting my friend Kyle last night, formally Corpsman Kyle Brock Meeks, U.S. Navy; Senior Line Corpsman for Alpha 3rd Platoon, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division. 

Despite some technical challenges, and arranging the studio, cameras and computer monitor so Kyle could participate in the chat, the painting session was one of my all-time favorites.

I have never painted someone who, though present to pose, was also actively communicating. Of course, I asked him to, and I accepted the challenge of painting him while he was sharing so many fascinating stories of his military tour. (Tonight, however, I am going to have him pose with his mouth closed while I finish his mouth, which, subsequently to the frame shown above, I wiped off the canvas.)

Technical difficulties at the end of this broadcast caused a Broadcast FAIL and my show abruptly ended mid-sentence as Kyle was laying out a great story of the time spent alone in a Jordanian hospital while waiting for his ‘boy’ (an injured Marine in his care) was attended to. I attempted for some time to re-connect, but it was impossible for unknown reasons. I am so sorry!

The painting will continue tonight with Kyle in-studio one more time, tonight, starting at 5pm, Pacific time.

Click here to go to the show URL at the proper time.


As promised, below is a sharper photo of the painting of Emily, created last week for her mother. (if you want to see it a bit larger, click the image)


Alan C. Campbell Portrait

Alan Campbellby David R. Darrow
11" x 14" (27.9cm x 35.6cm)
Oil on Canvas Panel
Collection of Alan C. Campbell,
San Diego, CA – USA

About This Painting

This portrait of my client Alan Campbell was started with Alan in the studio watching while I painted during the broadcast of Dave the Painting Guy.

I asked him if I could paint him because I like his face and I like him. He balked at the idea at first, but I talked him into posing for photographic reference for the painting, and then he became interested in obtaining the painting for his office.

So, what started out as a Fine Art piece for me to paint and sell, became a portrait commission. Either way, it was fun to paint.

Alan is a recognized, award-winning architect in San Diego. Visit the website of Alan C. Campbell. ◙

Captain Nick

Captian Nickby David R. Darrow
14" x 11" (35.6cm x 27.9cm)
Oil on Canvas Panel
Collection of Simon Wickstrom,
Alameda, CA – USA

About This Painting

I first met Nick at North Coast Calvary Chapel in Carlsbad, CA. He was a ‘morning greeter,’ welcoming people as they walked in the front door, greeting them with a big smile, friendly eyes… and something you just could not help but notice: the biggest hands you’ve ever felt giving you a handshake.

My own hands are large; Nick’s are massive.

When I moved my studio to Oceanside in 2007, I discovered Nick was my new neighbor, and we chatted from time to time. He’d had to retire due to a heart condition, the treatment of which seemed to be barely tolerable. His weight increased rapidly over a few months, and this once grizzly, hulk of a human was reduced — by increased size — to a man at the mercy of distances, stopping to catch his breath every 15 feet or so when merely walking. He was always kind, generous and jovial, with endless stories of days in Hollywood as a stunt-double, or other bit parts.

A few months before I moved to Encinitas, Nick told that me a good friend in Costa Rica had invited him to come down there and help him out with his new Club for mostly American tourists, right on the beach, free grub and free rent and a small paycheck.

I asked him if I could come, too.

One day, in those last weeks, I dropped by with my camera and asked him if I could shoot some pictures of him for a painting.

“Me?” he gasped. “I thought you wanted to be a successful painter,” he winked. A moment later he was up scrounging around in some of his packed boxes for his hat collection, and pulled out this delightful captain’s hat. I suggested that he’d look official if he had a pipe. “Oh, I have one right over here, he said, turning around to get one out of his china hutch.

I snapped about 10 shots and left him alone, thanking him for the inspiration. A week later his apartment was empty, and Nick was on his way to Costa Rica.

I have not heard from him since.

Nick left me several hats as costume props, and several Hawaiian shirts, most of which I wear on my broadcast, my favorite being the one I was wearing in last night’s broadcast — the parrot one. Thanks Nick!

* * *

This is the painting I completed January 2nd — my first painting of 2009. I began it on the Dave the Painting Guy broadcast on January 1, 2009, and finished it the next evening. Most of it was recorded as a public clip at the uStream location. ◙

Ashton’s Morning

Ashton's Morningby David R. Darrow
14" x 11" (35.6cm x 27.9cm)
Oil on Canvas Panel

About This Painting

Ashton is a young woman I met when her family was on vacation to Carlsbad, CA.

She had me at the Coke machine.

Really! I was walking by the soda fountain on my way out the door to the back patio with my new, ice cold Palapa Pale Ale at Pizza Port when this striking beauty with large, dark eyes and cascading black curls turned towards me as she finished filling her glass. She smiled and turned to return to her table.

I have to paint her.

I followed her to her table, where she joined her family. Her mother and father, also very attractive people, looked at me with raised eyebrows as I stumbled through my introduction, telling them I am a real artist — “See, here’s my card, and it has one of my paintings on it…” — asking them if I could possibly arrange some time to paint their daughter.

They both looked at her.

She gave a look to her dad that was sort of a wide-eyed head-shake that communicated Hey, I don’t know any more about this than you do, but it sounds fun! They explained to me that they were just down here on vacation, but if they could squeeze in some time before heading home, they would call me.

They called and dad brought his 17-year-old treasure over to my studio for a quick photoshoot. It is rare that I have gotten so many paintable reference pictures in such a short time. She’s as photogenic, as she is beautiful, but her face, eyes, head-shape, hair and mouth are as easily paintable as anyone I have ever met.

And she’s a truly sweet soul.

* * *

This painting was completed on my Dave the Painting Guy live broadcast.

It is available as an 11 x 14-matted giclee in my online store. ◙

Samuel Gompers

Samuel Gompersby David R. Darrow
8" x 10" (20.3cm x 25.4cm)
Oil on Canvas Panel
This painting is not framed
Click here to see it larger

About This Painting

Next Dave The Painting Guy show:
Today, Wednesday, 5pm Pacific Time (GMT -8)

This past Monday, I relaunched my Dave the Painting Guy streaming internet show (website link) after over a month off the air, a month off from any painting (other than walls), and a month of packing and relocating.

Somehow Labor Day seemed like an appropriate day top get back to work. So I announced my intentions to go on the air again to subscribers to my notification list… and then set about trying to figure out what I would paint fro the show.

As always, careful planning and meticulous forethought are not my strongest gifts.

So it seemed Labor Day might have some interesting faces associated with its history, and sure enough, this interesting man, whom I painted as a demo on the show.

Samuel Gompers, according to Wikipedia “…helped found the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions in 1881 as a coalition of like-minded unions. In 1886 it was reorganized into the American Federation of Labor, with Gompers as its president. He would remain president of the organization until his death (with the exception of one year, 1895).”

And he had a pretty nice face for a painting demo. ◙

Signed, Framed, Delivered: It’s Yours!

David and Mariam, the portrait's subjectI delivered my commissioned portrait of Mariam directly to her place of work yesterday. Rather than having me bring the painting to her office, which she felt would certainly lead to unwanted ribbing from her already tease-prone coworkers, she met us in the lobby, complimented the portrait, asked for a little stack of my business cards and walked directly out to the parking garage to sequester the painting from prying eyes.

She later wrote that she took a few trusted friends to the garage gallery and showed them, which garnered the artwork still more compliments.