A New Amish Painting In the Works

You can just barely see it…


…here is a very faint sketch of the very first beginnings of a new pastel painting in the works.  I am trying to put a calendar together to hopefully put up for sale on Etsy and at Pebbles and Lace, the shop in Strasburg, PA. soon. I have never created or put together anything like this before,  and so, I am very excited to say the least.

As I was trying to ponder what to paint next, I was realizing I haven’t done any winter paintings at all, at least in the Amish category.  And that’s when I got this image of a cute little girl, standing against a white barn…wearing a red, headscarf and dark, grey winter coat with sprinkling of snow on her shoulders and hair. She may be holding firewood and I think I may have a window cut out behind her for more interest and some pine boughs hanging slightly over head for a slight holiday feeling. Well, when you look at this sketch, you have to really imagine all this, but I am seeing this and I can’t wait.  Now you can watch it come to life too!  I will share the stages of this painting here as much as I can, and when I am almost done,  I will have to name her.

I have other ideas as well and am starting sketches of those as well, but I am really excited about this one.  And then, I must do another boy painting!  It’s so easy to come up with cute ideas for girls…it seems!  Anyway, hope you can make this out and picture it!  Until next time….


The Sketch…so faint you can barely see it!

Portrait Of Aster Continued…

Hello everyone!

I have two more stages completed to show you here on Aster’s portrait.  I somehow feel hesitant to show these, as I am so used to showing beginning and end stages of all my portraits…not really the “in between” stages, which are the most difficult. That’s the stage where I usually feel like things are not working out or that the end stage is not going to be what I expected it to be. It’s the stage where placement of hair, light and shadows really matter, and  I have to keep touching up, adding and taking away. Balancing colors of lights and darks… it can be very intense, but very rewarding in the end. So please understand that what you are seeing is just the beginning of adding shapes and shadow and light.


Aster reference photo


The first stages of the hair, shadows and highlights on face. A simple gray and white background get placed in so we have somewhere to start.

Here you can see I have added the background just to have some color to frame the face for now. I will be adding some more color to this background near the end of the process, to bring everything together. Maybe some warm browns and touches of pink and turquoise that are in her shirt. You can see also, I added a little squiggle of turquoise near her neck reminding me what the color will be. Now I can make sure I keep her face color warm.


This stage more highlights are added to hair, more colors to background and shirt color is added.

As you can see here, the color is added to her shirt now, the shape of her hair is slowly being added and with more highlights. You can see touches of color now in the background or turquoise and pink with the grays. But here is still much more to do!  So sorry for the color here too, as the glow from my light is making the colors a little more yellow than they actually are in this picture. The cloudy days here prevent me from getting a good picture!

Anyway, the last pictures are yet to come and this is where I get really picky. I have to know when to stop touching it. It’s when I need to realize that nothing more can be added or taken away, it’s completed. Hope you like what you see so far. It’s almost done, Kevin!

Back to the drawing board!


Portrait Of Aster in the Works

Well, here are the beginning stages of Aster’s Portrait (Kevin Williams daughter) mentioned earlier.

As you can see from the reference picture, I could not really see Aster’s eyes very well, so I asked Kevin what color her eyes were. I knew they looked brown, but I wanted to know if they were dark brown or touch of hazel, light brown, etc.  He told me they were dark brown and so I do what I always do, and went on google to find a pair of dark brown eyes up close to see how they would reflect light.

Then I started with the base of skin color and lips, and then the eyes are always next.  I can’t explain it, but when I paint the eyes on all my portrait paintings, it seems like the whole portrait has a sort of life to it, and then everything evolves around that. It’s the feature that brings the whole portrait together.

As I am writing this, I have gone further with the portrait and I will put these up in a day or so and then it’s almost done. I am taking photos in stages best I can. So, this is basically the two main first steps in any portrait I do, and like I have said before, there is always a stage you go through where you think it’s not working out and you just want to start all over again, but it somehow  comes together with all the highlights and shadow and tweaking.

Then one or both daughters of mine come into my room, see it and say, “Wow, that looks awesome! That looks just like her”. And then I know I must be just sitting in front of the drawing board way t00 long and need a break.  Hope you like it so far! Back to tweaking and highlighting! Cheryl


Aster reference photo


The beginning stages…always looks a little scary


Adding the eyes with highlights…life is now in the portrait…it’s no longer a piece of paper at this point.

Two Little Cuties Portrait Painting

I just recently painted this pastel painting of two adorable, little boys that are grandsons to an ex-coworker of my husband, John. He lives in South Carolina, and so I mailed it to him and his wife. It was kind of a surprise.
These are the two reference photos I used for the painting. The little boy with the glasses is older now, so I had to change a few things to make him look older than this reference photo. It was a joy to do both of them and even happier that they loved it.  Makes me happy!


Reference photo


Reference photo


The Finished Portrait

Caitlin, A Pastel Painting Of My Daughter

This is a pastel painting I just completed of my other daughter, Caitlin.  It was from a photo session we took in my backyard of her looking at flowers and such.  I liked the pose so much, I had wanted to do this for such a long time.  It was great for practice.  She had blonder hair when we did this, and she has dark hair now, which is why she is brunette in the painting.

My Daughter, Caitlin

My Daughter, Caitlin

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