For answers to your questions about commissioning a portrait with me, I welcome you to visit "Commissions" and "Pricing", and review more examples of my portraiture at .
Lead time required for a portrait commission is commensurate with the detail and the technique being utilized. For any further questions please contact me at
A note that on occasion I post drawings from life, as well as drawings of nude models, as it is an important traditional practice which improves my ability in portraiture.
All images and content of this blog are © Mona Diane Conner 2014 and may not be reproduced

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Portrait of Sandra in Progress

"Sandra," 23" x 19", pastel in progress on brown La Carte pastel board

Here is a pastel I've started of my friend Sandy, who will also be posing later this year for my spiritual portrait series.  This is a practice portrait to help me acquaint myself with the planes her face, based on a casual picture taken by her husband, Dwight. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Word about my Spiritual Portrait Series and what's next

Some of you may have noticed that I blog according to several themes, and perhaps it's helpful to discuss why I prefer to separate my art into several blogs, and how sometimes these themes overlap.

Today I've posted another update for "Kimberly With Roses" on it's regular blog at this link: Grander Joy of Spirit, so if you'd like to follow my progress with this, "The 'Mary' in Kimberly", and other spiritually themed portraits, they will mainly continue to unfold there. While I may occasionally post an update here periodically on one of my spiritual portraits, with my spiritual portrait series in particular, which has continued for almost two years now, I am actually unfolding and at times discussing on-blog a personal theme through an ongoing body of work in portraiture for a gallery or museum show. So, I feel it is more meaningful in the long run to develop this theme in it's own context, and separately from this blog which is more about portraits and portrait commissions in general. I may, for example, get more into discussion of technical aspects of painting here on the portrait blog, whereas on Grander Joy of Spirit I'm attempting to zero in on the spiritual aspects and responses from viewers on this level.

So far, my spiritual portrait series has been done completely uncommissioned, and only with the cooperation of several interested friends who have willingly and kindly posed for me for this purpose. However, I am also quite open to the opportunity of creating a commissioned spiritual portrait if anyone desires one. I also have a miniature painting blog, where occasionally I do a portrait in miniature, and this is another source of overlap where I may sometimes post dually.

Right now I'm in the midst of preparing an artist grant application, just to help me to be able to continue with the spiritual portrait series, but as soon as it's finished I'll be posting something new here too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Framing "Eve and Her Dog", and the story of my friendship with Eve

I promised to share more of my story with you about how I came to make the portrait "Eve and Her Dog", and here are several pictures I want to show you.  The first is a picture of me with my dear friend Eve Weiss, who is the subject pictured in "Eve and Her Dog".  Many thanks to Eve's daughter Ricky, and to her husband Roberto for their help with this surprise for Eve.

Eve and I

A detail of the moulding that my framer, San Art Frame Shop used to frame Eve's portrait.

Just the frame was the surprise in this instance, since Eve already knew about the drawing I was making of her with Stubby, and here is the picture that Ricky's husband, Roberto, took when we showed it to Eve.

The story of Eve and I really began before I was born, when Eve, her husband Gus, and my Dad were in the same study group together and became friends at NYU Law School.  I first met Eve, Gus, and their three children, Jonathan, Ricky, and Robin, when our family travelled to Flushing, NY to visit their family and see the New York World's Fair.  We had so much fun, both at the Fair, and with their family, and after I returned home, Eve contacted me to ask if I would make a painting of their family dog Brutus.  I was only twelve years old, and it was my first-ever portrait commission request!   Can you imagine how excited I was?  Not only that, but the oil painting of Brutus hung proudly in their home for many, many years.  So I made this drawing of Eve to thank her for inspiring me in this important way during the early years of my life's journey as an artist.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Working on Her Face, Hair, and Hand

(*August 11:  Just a little more progress, so I've added another copy of the image.)

(click image twice for a larger view)

"Kimberly With Roses," 19 1/2" x 15 1/4", egg tempera in progress on true gesso panel

Another look at the portrait after more work on the face, the hairline and portions of the hair.
In egg tempera painting, many thin translucent layers of paint in alternating warm and cool tones are juxtaposed to gradually solidify forms and build luminosity as it goes forth.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Working on the Veil

A detail from "Kimberly with Roses" (in progress) 19 1/2" x 15 1/4" egg tempera on true gesso panel (click the image twice for a larger view)

When I work on a medium or large egg tempera portrait I like to establish it a section at a time.  Later I'll go back and begin integrating and refining things more.  Right now the background is still unpainted, but that will come into it later too.  During the most recent painting sessions I focused most of my attention on the Indian wedding veil, particularly the large appliques with embroidery, beads, and sequins.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Progress: Two Portraits of the Same Person

"The 'Mary' in Kimberly" (in progress) prior to the application of gold leaf and further work on the white veil.
Gold leaf will be applied to the background and sides of the arched panel over the dark red area.
(click each image twice to see a larger version)

Another portrait of Kimberly in progress, wearing an Indian wedding veil and holding roses.

Sometimes I like to paint a series of portraits of the same person utilizing a theme.  In this case, I'm working with a spiritual theme, trying to portray that quality of the divine as it expresses itself within and through Kimberly as a person.
For more details on the thinking behind this series and it's spiritual aspects, visit Grander Joy of Spirit.