Portraits Inc 2016 Seminar At Lake Martin

Returning from the Portraits, Inc.
2016 Seminar At Lake Martin, Alabama

Many times Beverly McNeil has said, ”We are a Portraits Inc. family.”
The annual gathering of Portraits Inc. artists, staff, and associates is always
a wonderful time to receive motivation, discuss business trends, paint, eat and play.

Portraits Inc. has the best portrait artists in the United States and I am honored to be included among them.

It is so much fun being friends and in contact with artist through out the United States.







The General’s Letter

Friends, I wanted to share this graciously written letter from the General. Thank you General Thomas Mc Inerney, Portraits Inc, and Erin Cassidy.
* * * * * * * * *

Dear Glenda, 25 July 2016
Our deepest thanks for the magnificent portrait of Tom, Mona and myself on our way to England as the air attaché 42 years ago today. It is also Tom’s 42nd birthday as well as his first wedding anniversary to Yoko so this beautiful portrait was a wonderful surprise. I can not thank Erin Cassidy enough for selecting you and all the work she did to assist you in creating this wonderful portrait as well as the print you made for us. We are deeply grateful, our deepest thanks.
Tom and Mona.

Process of the family gift – part 3

The Charcoal was build up slowly to give the dark rich look of a uniform. The photo was too dark to get enough detail. After much consideration I placed the photo on a light box so I could see the detail from the back lit photograph.

IMG_6677 IMG_6678 IMG_6734 IMG_6737 IMG_6752  Slowly the drawing is coming alive.

Process of the family gift – part 2

IMG_3027 copyWorking on one face at a time keeping the faces covered so my body oils won’t absorb into the paper.


I use a lot of cross hatch with back and forth motion. I soften with a sponge or artist stump.


IMG_6655               I keep the charcoal soft with a feather touch until almost complete

IMG_6658                   The paper around the areas I am working keeps the paper clean

A Special Family Gift – First stage – part 1

The date is June 5th1974. A loving young family, and one special B&W photograph has endured the test of time. Forty-two years have passed. The child is now a man expecting his child. The Father is giving his gift of love to his son and family. I am honored to be the selected artist for this special occasion. Thank you Portraits Inc. and representative, Erin Cassidy of Alexandria Virginia for this commission. Also a special thank you to the General for selecting me as the artist. I feel privileged to walk you through this special creative gift.


When I began learning the world of portraiture Charcoal was my first medium to explore. Charcoal work is much more like painting than any other form of drawing. A wide piece of charcoal makes a wide mark similar to working with a brush. The light manner with which it has to be handled is also much more like handling a brush than any other point in drawing. When you rub with your sponge or finger over the charcoal, it sheds a soft gray over the paper. You now have a middle tone to build your values from dark to light. Highlights can be taken out with precision using a kneed eraser molded into a point or areas can be lifted almost like Silly Putty lifting print off a newspaper.

When I first learned to use charcoal it was a love – hate relationship, I have grown to love this beautiful medium called Charcoal. Slowly I learned how to keep my drawings light then work into dark and build again into the light. Yes, there were a lot of mistakes along this learning curve. Charcoal paper comes in a huge variety of colors and types; it takes time along with trial and error to find the paper that best suits you. In my early years I used only white paper. Now I prefer a neutral toned paper because I can use the white chalk for the highlights instead of the white of the paper.

An 8 x 10 photo, the tools used for this drawing.




draw and transfer images keeping a very light touch using vine charcoal.

keeping the light touch begin a soften the lines of the vine charcoal with a sponge, charcoal stump or this handy little tool used in pastel.

Three Day Portrait Workshop at Hutchison

Exploring the steps of portrait painting,

This is a three-day workshop on painting the head from your photograph.

Instructions will be in oil but Acrylic painters are welcome.

August 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2016

Time – 10am – 4pm

Lunch and easels are provided

Contact me for your supply list

Cost $300.00

To register for the workshop contact:

Tracey Ford


901 507-2461 or 901 331-9058


Hutchison School

1740 Ridgeway Rd

Memphis TN





How I made my studio paint box

In the lumber department of Lowe’s they sell nice ¼ inch 2×4 foot plywood for about 10 dollars. At Lowe’s the sales assistant in the lumber department will cut the board to your designated size. I had my boards cut to 17 ½ x 21 ½. Ask the assistant to cut two pieces same size, have one board cut in half. I use the two halves as the top of my studio paint box, this top will open and close after you screw hinges at each end. I use gray glass to lay my paint on and also mix on the glass.
To make the edges of my box I purchased several one by one inch strips, enough to go around my box bottom and top. When I got home I cut the strips with a chop saw, you can use a hand saw. When attaching the strips, I used glue and a small nail gun. I tried staining the box but the stain wasn’t what I wanted. I mixed Fire Red oil paint with Black oil paint. The color turned out a pretty dark red brown. Let the paint dry and then attach the hinges and a latch to the front. I use Oil of Clove (a natural oil product that slows the drying of oil paint) on a cotton ball or drop one drop on the top of my paint. Depending on the color the paint stays moist for a several days. TIP; Some colors dry very fast while some stay wet. When you are not painting keep the box closed. Air will dry your paint.
Also, I was using a fold up table to set the box on but wanted something higher and adjustable. So I found a home health store and purchased an adjustable over the bed tilt table. Like the kind they use in hospitals or in home care. I love the way it is stable, tilts and lift up and down. It is easy and you can too!

Small palette knife painting.

Many mornings I in my studio looking out the window and seeing these horses trying to get in the shade by the cedar trees. Several time I have wanted to paint the horses standing behind the trailer, this morning I decided to paint them. I was trying to capture the morning light. As they stood there it amazed me how dark it was where the cedar was in shadow and how as the light hit they glowed.  I also used a lot of palette knife. I started with a brush to lay out the composition and values, then I begin the pallet knife work keeping my colors clean. This is a 6×9 painting on Ampersand Gesso Board. I like the gesso board on very small painting but on larger painting I like oil primed linen.

Ready to Go

At the Forgotten Coast in Apalachicola Florida



May 15, 2016 my artist friend Sheryl and I left Memphis traveling to the Forgotten Coast in Apalachicola Florida. We were volunteers for “Plein Air South” event. This event was packed with mini workshops, supply and paint discussions, demos, food and marketing tips from Allison Stanfield. At the paint out there were smiling faces, friendly talented artist from all over the southern region and beyond. From the time we got up until the time we fell into bed there was laughter, learning and camaraderie with our peers. I felt a spiritual growth as well as artistic growth.

I heard several Christian artists sharing with discussions of faith. As artists we are always evolving, and at this event I also reaffirmed that art is not just my job, it is my calling, always studying, always learning and sharing.


There were 150 artists from the southern states attending. The dates of next year’s Plein Air South will be May 15-18, 2017. Hope you can attend!


This event also let me know the importance of documenting.

Apalachicola Florida

Apalachicola Florida