Fine Art Portraits for Business and Family

Boardroom portraits, Memorial portraits, Retirement portraits, Couple portraits, Children’s portraits,

Family portraits, and Family Landscapes.

From head shots to full length, serious to casual and everything in between. 

A Personal Message from the Artist…

Creating portraits has been my passion since childhood. With every portrait, whether it’s a person or animal, my goal is to bring them to life on canvas. This means each painting or drawing I create has a natural and typical expression, a spot-on likeness, and is a sensitive, natural rendering – never stony or wooden. On top of this, the portrait must satisfy as a beautiful work of art.

After thirty-five years of professional portrait experience and thousands of satisfied clients, I understand and can control all of these elements while working closely with the client to meet their individual needs. I take my own photographs of the subject whenever possible.

One reason I work only from photographs is that I enjoy capturing the expression exactly, whether it is serious, slightly smiling, or a moment of sheer exuberance. I look for natural poses and subtle expressions which suggest the intelligence, humor and passion of the subject and the overall mood of the piece.

Nevertheless, for portrait gifts, posthumous portraits, pet portraits, unique candid shots, or if the person cannot come to me for any reason, I will work with photographs provided by the client, if they are of sufficient quality (and sometimes even if they are not!). I am always excited to see what I will be asked to paint next. I hope you’ll give me the chance to make your personal project special!

Portrait Gallery

Some of My Favorite Portraits

Veronica

oil, 36" x 72"

Mrs. Rivera & Her Daughter

oil, 27" x 38"

Sammy Davis, Jr.

charcoal, 18" x 24"

The Grey Dress

pastel, 24" x 30"

Mayor Tom Weisner

pastel, 15" x 19"

Dr. Gerald Larue

oil, 32" x 40"

Ralph Leibman

oil, 20" x 24"

Red Skelton

pastel, 30" x 36"

Sisters

oil, 30" x 36"

Dr. Gerald Larue

charcoal, 18" x 24"

Anne Goldsmith

oil, 30" x 36"

Mountain Man

oil, 30" x 40"

Priest

oil, 24" x 30"

Portraits From Photographs

original photo

pastel portrait

Brothers on the Beach

A pastel made from the customer’s snapshot. Elements were softened and background figures eliminated to enhance the painting.

original photo

pastel portrait

Michael Bailey

Clothing is one detail that can be changed. Here, Officer Bailey of the CPD was painted in uniform rather than the tuxedo in the photograph.

original photo

pastel portrait

Marilee's Dad

A pastel vignette from an old photograph. Making a color painting from a black & white source is not a problem.

original photo

pencil portrait

Levy family

A pencil drawing from the customer’s photo. I vignetted the scene and added in their two French bulldogs from separate photos as requested.

PLEASE NOTE: Graphite pencil is shiny where it is darkest and the softness of the original is not easily picked up by a camera. Please be aware that the light areas in the middle of the drawing are reflections in the photograph and NOT in the original drawing.

original photo

pastel portrait

Jason

Here, a casual shirt was requested in place of the formal tuxedo. It could easily have been the reverse, if requested.

original photo

oil portrait

Deputy Hannan

A color portrait in oil is easily made from a black & white reference, as long as colors are agreed upon. The "staring" eyes were softened.

original photo

portrait

Sol Stone

This is one of my favorite portraits. A pastel vignette of a lovely man, a psychologist, and master close-up magician. Here, I opened the eyes a touch, softened the shadows, and eliminated the background for a pleasing, high vignette.

original photo

pastel portrait

Thor Soderberg

A small B/W source photo made into pastel and expanded, with casual shirt replaced with a uniform.

small sepia source photo

20" x 24" oil portrait

Deputy Pohlmant

A 20" x 24" oil portrait made from a relatively small sepia photo.

Henry's daughter - photo

Henry's daughter - charcoal portrait

Henry's daughter

A charcoal drawing. Sometimes photos are not very good, but modern digital editing allows for improvement of the source photo. By adjusting the contrast I was able to see details in the face which, in turn, allowed me to make a portrait that is better than the original.

Double Portraits

I get many requests to do portraits of couples. It could be a wedding picture, you and your spouse for an anniversary gift, close friends, a mother and child, or your spouse’s parents. As you can imagine, they make wonderful surprise gifts. Often I work with the client’s photos in this instance, as they are often one-of-a-kind moments. If what you have isn’t perfect (and it is fairly rare that both people look their best in one photograph) you often have the option to use two separate images to make the painted double portrait. I recommend that the photograph with the best expression be used, as I can always change the background, clothes, colors, hairdo, eyeglasses, etc. Care must be taken to match the lighting as best as possible when using different photographs for each person. For example, do not mix outdoor shots with indoor shots, as you will have a very artificial outcome. The viewing angle must also be considered, as you would not want to mix a shot from below with a shot from above: again, a very artificial look will result. With this in mind, there are still many possibilities to mix and match to get the most satisfying double portrait possible.

Anniversary Portrait

Engagement Portrait

Mother and Child

Wedding Portrait

oil, 30" x 36"

Kori & Laura

Sisters

Family Portraits

Ideally, a family portrait is painted from one shot, or from the same photo shoot. This gives the most consistency of lighting, vantage point and personal relationships. I am available to take the photographs of your family if needed. However, as with double portraits, photographs may be mixed and matched to come up with the best portrayal of each member of the family. Did a family member blink? No problem! Does someone have a bad expression? Easy to fix: use another shot for that person. It is also possible to add someone in who missed the photo shoot. Just find a few shapshots of that person and I can usually paint him or her into the final portrait. Another interesting idea is to have multiple images of the same person in different moods.

original photo

pastel portrait

Wayne Johnson Family

A pastel of three generations. Here, the background and hands were removed and the whole was softened and vignetted. The harshness of the original photograph is toned down while the authentic expressions and clothing remain true.

Family portrait

Three Generations

First Baby

Family Landscapes

Imagine a beautiful painting of your kids cavorting in the backyard, giggly and smiling with wind in their hair and the greenery and flowers of spring as a backdrop! Wouldn’t you love to have a painting of your child when he was fishing for the first time with his grandfather? …the lovely photo of your daughter walking among the wildflowers? …that shot of your husband and daughter on the shore or the whole family walking on the beach last summer? Wouldn’t it make a perfect painting! The memories are precious. The possibilities are endless! This is what I refer to as a family landscape: a painting from your special photograph of people in a landscape or seascape, a moment in time, doing what they like to do. It would normally be called a genre painting, but it stars you and your family, with the people much smaller than in a normal portrait but still identifiable. It’s a lovely way to add landscapes or seascapes to your home but with a personal touch. It always tells a story! Let me help you translate your precious photographs into an heirloom family landscape. (Prices vary widely depending on the complexity of the subject and how many people are portrayed.)

original photos

By The Sea pastel portrait

Here is a casual family portrait in pastel, using several photographs as sources. I discussed with the client which views of the dock and the sea they liked, as well as which poses were best, and enhanced the colors, shadows and design for a pleasing effect.

Original Photo

Pastel Portrait

Boys Fishing

Here, the photograph was a great candid shot but needed some adjustments. The photo was the last in the roll, hence the strange left edge (yes, film!). I filled in some areas with more grass and trees, using other photos taken of the area, enhanced the colors and changed a couple of shirts for the right pop of color.

Daddy & Girl at the Beach

paster, 20" x 24"

A Walk In The Woods

oil, 24" x 30"

Starfish

oil, 18" x 24"

Memorial Portraits

A painting of the one you lost can give great comfort to you or a friend who is grieving their loss. It brings the person to life in a way that a photograph cannot. Whether oil or pastel, it is made of pure pigment which ensures that with proper care it will last for generations, usually much longer than photographs.

A challenging and delicate specialty, creating memorial portraits requires the utmost in sensitivity and creative solutions with the least amount of reference material. Great care must be taken to ensure that the true personality shines through in the painting, no matter the quality of the source material. This is not the time to rely on amateurs, friends who mean well, or artists who do not specialize in portraits. You need an artist with extensive experience in painting both from the live model and the photograph, as well as a talent and passion for portraiture. For this reason many artists shy away from the task, but Ms. Alexander considers posthumous portraits her specialty.

Pennington

Cortney Nelson

Venerable Grandmother

A True Story


Years ago, when I was participating in an art show, I ran across a businessman who stopped at my booth and gave a careful look at my samples. When I asked him if he was thinking about a portrait, he told me his story.

His brother, with whom he was close, had died a couple of years before. In that time, he had had several artists paint a portrait from the few small, fuzzy photographs available, never with any success. While he still very much wanted a portrait of his brother, he was discouraged and naturally reluctant to spend still more money on something he couldn’t see beforehand.

My solution was simple. I told him, “Let me do a portrait of your brother. I will ask for no money down (waiving the usual 50%) and when you see the finished portrait, if you don’t like it, you will not pay a dime.” My only qualification was that, since the photos were not very good, that I would be able to carry the portrait only so far, and then I would need his feedback to adjust it to the right likeness. When I showed him the portrait back in my studio, as I anticipated, he needed me to adjust a few features to find the exact likeness which the photos alone couldn’t show. I adjusted the picture for a few minutes after each suggestion while he watched, and then he stepped back, and declared softly, “That’s my brother!” and suddenly walked out of the room to compose himself. When he came back he happily paid my price and had me do several other portraits for him and recommended me to many friends.



Customizing


Often there is no one picture that will translate perfectly into a painted portrait. An artist needs to add, subtract or emphasize certain aspects of a photograph to produce a great painting. What I am looking for most of all is a photograph that captures the spirit and best facial expression of the person. It doesn’t matter even if they’re in their bathrobes in the kitchen: everything, other than the turn of the head, can be changed or eliminated to accommodate your memory of the one who has passed away, including the hair style or color, clothing, eyeglasses, hats, backgrounds and other people in the photograph. Other reference photos are appreciated to make the changes accurate. People can be shown in uniform, for example, when the photo is in civilian clothes.

original photo

pastel portrait

Michael Bailey

Clothing is one detail that can be changed. Here, Officer Bailey of the CPD was painted in uniform rather than the tuxedo in the photograph.

Multiple Images Option


If your loved one had a number of striking expressions, looks or fields of interest, you may want to consider a multiple image, – or montage – portrait. This is also perfect for representing a number of stages (ages) in life. This may consist of two or three more portrayals of the subject, usually with varying sizes of heads, or with hands included on one image, or even one of a full body pose. A vignette – softly fading crop – of the image is preferred to help the images fit well on the canvas.

You may also elect to have yourself painted with your loved one, or any other person(s) put together. I can recommend a composition for you and help you to sift through the choices of source photographs so thtat the final painting is an artistic and accurate success. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to discuss your particular wishes.

Boy with SpongeBob

Roy Agee

pastel, 20" x 24"

Photographer Montage

Testimonials

What My Portrait Clients Have Said…

"…I gave one of my sisters and her husband a portrait that you so gorgeously did. They both loved it so much that they took down a portrait that some friends had spent huge dollars to have done as a gift to them. The minute they saw the one you did, they removed the hugely expensive one and have admired your portrait ever since. You absolutely do the most incredible art work."

– George Dubiecki

Agoura Hills, CA

"Everyone noticed all the wonderful and giggly detail you included in the portrait, even and including his impish grin and dirty fingernails. You are truly a very fine artist…"

- V. Kagan, Ventura, CA

regarding a child‘s portrait

"Today I received a framed photo of the portrait you did of my granddaughter, Rachel Bloom. I have to let you know that I was overwhelmed by the likeness. The portrait looks like she wants to leap out and speak to me. I want to thank you so much for doing such a magnificent job, it is probably the best portrait painting that I have ever seen - and I'm pretty old. Again, in gratitude, I want to say thank you.

- Alice Bloom

California

"[The portrait] was a hit! Thank you. It is beautiful.

– Florence Mond

California

"The portrait could not have been more life-like and captured the essence of this remarkable young man who was taken from us so tragically…"

- Leroy D. Baca

Sheriff, Los Angeles County

"There are no words to tell you what this painting of Earl means to us. When we brought it home from the funeral we did not know if we would be able to look upon it for a while. However, we hung it in the center of our home and it has been a comfort that words cannot convey. Your gift is surely God-given, as the painting is so very much more Earl than the picture you painted from..."

- Bill and Terrie Scott

Parents of Earl Scott, CHP

"In about 1978 or 79'... I saw your work and KNEW you were the one I wanted to do the portrait of our 17 year old daughter who had died in 1977. We have treasured this portait all these years and ran across your website today and wanted to thank you again for doing that for us. Thank you!"

- Linda & Bob Trivers

Texas

"I just want you to know that I sincerely appreciate the beautiful work you did on my portrait and the portrait of my mother. The likenesses and the colors were superb, and both portraits made wonderful gifts…"

- J. Brazan, Sr.

Whittier, CA

"On the day of the wake it was placed near him and I would never have made it through that day, if it weren’t for the portrait."

- Deborah Francis

Widow, P.O. Richard Francis, C.P.D.

"Despite never having met him, you managed to capture perfectly not only his appearance but also his personality: the twinkle in his fun-loving eyes, the kindness of his easy smile….Our daughters, aged only 7 and 9, continue to be amazed how the ‘painting looks just like Daddy.’ What they do not understand is that your portrait will help keep his memory alive for them even as passing time works hard to fade it from their young minds."

- Michelle R. Walker

Widow of Lt. Michael Walker, CHP

"The loss of Deputy Ron Ives was heartbreaking to us and we were comforted by your generous gift. It is these acts of kindness that got us through one of our darkest times."

- Captain Pete Ortiz

Rancho Cucamonga Police Department

"Thank you so much for the beautiful portrait of Alex. Words cannot express our appreciation for this incredible gift….You captured his true essence perfectly in this portrait..."

- The Valadez family

"This is wonderful!! And perfect. No changes needed!!!"

- Ruben Acevedo

California



Portrait Pricing

Price is determined by the size, medium, and number of people in the portrait.
Prices listed are for one subject:

Size Pastel Oil
12″ x 16″ Head and shoulders $400 $750
16″ x 20″ Head and shoulders $550 $1100
20″ x 24″ Head and shoulders $750 $1500
24″ x 30″ Half figure with hands $1000 $2000
30″ x 36″ Three-quarter figure with hands N/A $2850
32″ x 40″ Three-quarter figure (life size) N/A $3500
40″ x 72″ Full length (life-size) N/A $4500 & up

Prices listed are for one subject. Additional subjects are charged at 2/3 the price of the first. Special backgrounds, military uniforms, bridal or other unusually detailed work may involve extra cost. Listed prices do not include framing which is available from the artist. State and local taxes will be added where applicable.

Terms for custom portraits: One-third is payable upon completion of the color study and photographs. The second third is due when the preliminary sketch is approved, and the final third is due when the portrait is delivered. For head and shoulder portraits, color studies and preliminary sketches will be eliminated and one half is due before the painting may begin.

Note: If you are unsure what your portrait will cost, or are on a budget, I may be able to suggest alternatives. Please don’t hesitate to talk with me about your individual situation.