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

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Professional Shot of "After the Party", (recent pastel of mine)

                                             "After the Party" - pastel portrait of Peggy and Marcelo, 19 1/2" x 26 1/2"

Monday, December 16, 2013

Scanned Detail of Peggy from "After the Party"

Scanned detail of Peggy from "After the Party", a portrait of Peggy and Marcelo

Here is a scanned detail from a portion of the portrait of Peggy and Marcelo.  When
comparing it to the camera shot I took in my previous post you can begin to see 
the obvious advantages of having a pro scan done, or in this case of knitting one 
together as a best effort.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

After the Party - Camera Shot of My Portrait of Peggy and Marcelo

"After the Party", portrait of Peggy and Marcelo, pastel on pastel board

Here is a camera shot of my latest portrait, which has taken some time to complete.  As you can see, I reconfigured the location of the
aqua pillow, which formerly had a pattern that detracted 
attention too much from Peggy's skirt, so I streamlined the original look of the pillow to be a plain silk pillow.  
I've updated the picture to this post after a bit more subduing and refining that I noted was necessary to complete in a few areas of Peggy's skirt.

Due to how I cannot afford to pay for a professional scan of this painting, and some artists can't, which is a real disappointment,
I will still be trying to scan it in sections, very gently, to see if I can seam one nice scan together for my professional purposes.  Why is this so important you may ask?
Well, several reasons.  One is that with a camera shot I get warping of an image around my edges which means that I must crop into the art, and also that a slight
distortion of the art is occurring.  There are also abrupt color and value differences between the accuracy of a camera shot and of a pro scan, and yet due to the risk of
trying the seamed-together scan, as a teacher I honestly do not recommend doing this, and I hope when things are better for my income I will be able to avoid it in future.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kit and Greg

Here is an egg tempera portrait in progress which I have returned to after some time off from it, and it's of my brother, Kit and his son (my nephew) Greg, which is being painted from a photograph I took of them in 1989.

Greg is now attending law school in Chicago, and my brother, now a father of four and soon to be a grandparent, works as a judge, so life has changed in many ways since those days.  The picture was also taken on my parent's 40th wedding anniversary, of which they eventually had 57 before my father passed away in 2007.  Since that time, as those of you following my work will know, my Mother has remarried to my step-Dad, Harry.

Here following are a few more photos from that same family anniversary party on June 3, 1989.

Kit's oldest son Greg who is now 24
Kit and Greg
Aunt Mona - here I am with my sister's oldest son Nick and my brother's only daughter Lauren on the porch swing that day.   Since then there have been 5 more nephews in our extended family for me to love, including Daniel, Ben, David, Eric and Casey.  This weekend I just returned from Lauren's own baby shower!  She is expecting my first great-nephew in 7 more weeks, and we are all very excited about his arrival.  :-)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Smile - Self Portrait

                    "Smile - Self Portrait", charcoal and pastel on Mi Teintes (French pastel paper)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A bit more progress with the portrait of Lil and Mike

 Here I am with Mike and Lil as they are today, at a fond reunion I had with them and their family members recently in the Campbell, Pritchard, and Murphy ends of their respective families, to share the surprise that this painting is in the works as a gift from Mike to Lil, my former husband and former mother-in-law. They still feature as great and much beloved friends in my life, along with Mike's two dear sisters, Lori and Kathy Campbell, and his aunts, cousins, and dear partner Paul.  Below you can see my panel painting in it's most recent stage of progress, with the background garden and wisteria vine which will surround part of the outer border yet to come.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Catching up on two of my portraits in progress

A detail from my portrait of Peggy and Marcelo called "After the Party," in progress

My mother/son portrait of Lil and Mike in progress, which will have a garden background
added this week.

It's been a while, since I've had a few health issues still to contend with, but I've been 
at work, albeit more slowly.  I'm getting there with the portrait of my sister Peggy and brother-in-law Marcelo, and have added into it more depth of detail, such as shown here in the detail of my sister.  The portrait of Lil and Mike is also still a work in progress, and will have some background elements added now that a start on the figures has been established.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Progress with Frances and Dylan

my progress with "Frances and Dylan",  8" x 10",  egg tempera on panel

Here is my latest on my commission of Frances and Dylan, and I'm wishing to thank Andrea and Stephen, Frances and Dylan's parents, for their patient wait while I was recuperating from heart ablation surgery enough to continue with my commission work for 
them and for others. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Portrait Drawing of Bob

Portrait of Bob Hutton, 13" x 17", carbon pencil and pastel on Pastelmat

This portrait of Bob was done for Bob and Glenda Hutton.  I first knew Bob in high school, and the Huttons have been dear friends of mine for many years.  Bob is a talented musician, actor, and former music teacher, and the Huttons live in Alaska.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Frances and Dylan, nearing completion

"Frances and Dylan" nearing completion, 8" x 10", egg tempera on panel

Here's the current stage of progress on my portrait of Frances and Dylan Stephens, now almost completed except for some final layers and finishing touches.  We are in discussion about adding an inch of ocean to the left of Frances, above Dylan's hand.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Update #3 on the portrait commission of Lil and Mike

Lil and Mike in progress in oil over gold leaf

Still partly an underpainting, but I made some great progress on it this week, so here's another look at Lil and Mike.  More to come on it soon.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

progress update - Lil and Mike

My progress so far with the portrait of Lil and Mike Campbell, which is being painted in oil over Italian gold leaf. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Portrait Pickup!

It was great to have a visit from Dick Marshall today, who arrived to pick up the framed portrait of him and Kat.  Many thanks, Kat and Dick, for commissioning a portrait, and thanks Dick for coming to NYC to pick it up!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

preparatory drawing of Lil and Mike Campbell

Here is my preparatory drawing for a portrait commission of Lil and Mike Campbell.  The medium for this painting will be oil on gold-leafed panel. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Update #2 on my egg tempera portrait of Frances & Dylan

"Frances and Dylan" brother and sister portrait in progress, 8" x 10" egg tempera on true gesso panel
Here's a progress update on the portrait commission of Frances and Dylan.  Still more work to come on the eyes, eyebrows, and layering in general, but getting there.....

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Knit Scan Detail #2 from the Portrait of Dick and Catherine Marshall

Knit Scan Detail #2 from the portrait of Catherine and Dick Marshall

And to follow up, here is a second detail of Dick Marshall from the same portrait, this time created from three scans which are knitted together from top to bottom.   

To learn more about how to knit scans, just google the topic, or click on this easy tutorial I found at

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A knit scan detail from the portrait of Dick and Catherine Marshall

Knit scan detail of Catherine Marshall from the recent portrait commission I completed of Kat and her husband Dick

Lately I've been improving my skill with knitting scans.  Sometimes when a work of art is too large for my scanner I try scanning portions of the image and knitting them together in photoshop.  It's a tricky business to line up the pieces seamlessly, but with care, a knitted scan can provide an even higher res image of a work of art than a single scan.  If I can pull off knitting six parts together, I may have even more to show you.  Scanning is worthwhile because the detail level and the color quality are far superior to a camera shot as an accurate record of the art.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

SVA Drawing Sessions - 2012 Highlights

"Emily", approximately 9" x 12", carbon pencil and pastel on gray Mi Teintes paper

And a camera shot of the entire drawing of Emily, 11" x 14"

(regrettably I did not get this model's name, am working on it and will add it here if I can), approximately 9" x 12", carbon pencil and pastel on gray Mi Teintes paper

"Teddi", approximately 15" x 18", carbon pencil on paper

Happy New Year everyone, and I hope it will be a great year for all of you!  
Here are some of my favorite drawings from the SVA Alumni drawing sessions in 2012.
Some don't entirely fit on my scanner and some are cropped from a camera shot, which is why they are labelled "approximately" in size. My thanks to Tom, our moderator, and to each of these great models for posing for us, and I'm looking forward to more of these drawing sessions in 2013 when they resume later this month.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Frances and Dylan, a brother and sister portrait in progress

             "Frances and Dylan", and brother and sister portrait in progress, 8" x 10", egg tempera on panel

While I'm finishing up Peggy and Marcelo's couples portrait, here is another portrait commission currently in progress, of brother and sister, Frances and Dylan.  I've known their extended family all my life, and it has been such a special pleasure for me to be working on this portrait of Andrea Littell and Daniel Stephens' daughter and son.  Thank you Andrea and Dan!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kat and Dick's completed portrait

19" x 26", pastel and carbon pencil on Pastelmat

And here is the final version of the portrait of one of my favorite couples, Kat and Dick.  I'm tickled with how it came out.  
This a lamp-lit camera shot, so if I get a better record of it in daylight, I'll replace it here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

An Award for Portraiture

"Self Portrait at 34", 3 3/4" x 3", egg tempera miniature portrait on Kelmscott vellum

the framed portrait

I'm delighted to learn today that I have won a portrait award for my self portrait in miniature!  It's an Honorable Mention in Portraiture from the Miniature Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers Society of Washington D.C. in their annual international miniature competition.  I hope to be able to attend the opening weekend of this great show on Nov. 17 - 18, and the first public showing will be on Sunday, Nov. 18, from 2PM to 4PM at the beautiful venue of Strathmore Mansion in North Bethesda, MD.  This show, which is the 2nd largest miniature painting show in the U.S., continues through Dec. 29, 2012, and my portrait along with two other miniature paintings of mine will be for sale at the show.  

To read more on the development of this painting which was done from photos I took with the self-timer of my camera at a younger age, please visit my earlier post:  

And for details on attending the show in person, please visit this link:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dick Emerges

A detail of Dick, in progress.
                                                           Portrait of Kat and Dick in progress, with ground being laid for a basket of wood to the left of Dick on the fireplace.

My portrait of Kat and Dick is nearing completion, with some pinstripes and background details still to establish.  Looking at my progress on the computer is a big help sometimes, making it obvious what needs to be done next.  After taking an update photo, I subdued the light on Dick's head a bit more before making a scanned detail.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Peggy and Marcelo, nearing completion

"Peggy and Marcelo" in progress, 19" x 27", pastel on Pastelmat
                   An update on Peggy and Marcelo's portrait commission, now nearing completion.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Progress on part of a couple's commission

Still a few more refinements to come on Kat, but here is a detail in progress from Kat and Dick
Kat and Dick's portrait in progress

Here is a progress update on my commission of Kat and Dick.  Dick is next!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Further Progress on Peggy and Marcelo in Color

Further progress on the color pastel of Peggy and Marcelo

The color pastel of Peggy and Marcelo is moving along.  There is still work to do in many areas
such as the turquoise pillow, the hands, etc., but I want to get everything blocked in and then I will pull together
 the details and nuance the values a bit more.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Peggy and Marcelo, a color pastel

Peggy and Marcelo in progress, 19" x 27", pastel on Pastelmat
Here is my start on the color pastel commission for Peggy and Marcelo.  Some of you may recall the black and white version:

"Peggy and Marcelo, Study #1", 21" x 25 1/2", charcoal and pastel on acid-free gray board

I'll be overlapping my work on Peggy and Marcelo with the start of another couple's commission,a black and white portrait of Kat and Dick.   Kat and Dick chose this concept drawing for their portrait, which will be rendered similarly in charcoal and pastel, and more soon on this one too:


"JOE",  15" x 18", black and white charcoal on Mi Teintes paper

A portrait study drawn from life of model, Joe, that I did at one of our last SVA Alumni drawing sessions this Spring.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

"Eric", a portrait of my nephew

A scanned detail from the pastel of Eric

"Eric", 19" x 23", pastel on Pastelmat

Coming up is a couples portrait I have in progress, but first this portrait of my nephew Eric.  It was started from a live sitting and completed with the help of a few supplemental photos we took during our time together.  It provided me some needed practice in working in full color directly from life.  Live sittings in full color are not easy, especially at this size, and I only succeeded in developing a rough version in the time we had, but through this process with Eric, who sat very patiently, I noticed a few things I might have otherwise missed ~ about slight camera lens distortions and skin tones.
The rest I pulled together from the supplemental photos.  Above, I've added a scanned detail from the portrait, and this one goes to the Mendoza Conner family.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Amelia's Starry Night"

"Amelia's Starry Night", 3" x 2 1/2" (6 1/2" x 4" framed), egg tempera miniature portrait on Kelmscott vellum

(shown slightly larger for detail)

And here is a picture of little Amelia in April with her first ponytail!  Is this  little girl cute or what?!!

This is a portrait of Amelia, daughter of Erika and Brian Boccia.  Amelia's mom, Erika, is my sister-in-law's niece.  As with the portrait "Carol By Moonlight", I used a new gemstone pigment in my pigment collection made from  lapis lazuli along with the other blues in the sky of this painting.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Carol By Moonlight"

"Carol By Moonlight",  a miniature portrait of Carol Curtiss,  in it's silver oval frame
"Carol By Moonlight", 3 3/4" x 3", (shown enlarged for detail), egg tempera on Kelmscott vellum
This portrait is for a remarkable friend of mine, Carol Curtiss, who has done so much for the Miniature Art Society of Florida.  ---- 
P.S., as I forgot to mention this earlier in my post, Carol's portrait was the first where I included with my egg tempera a pigment powder that I bought this year which is made from real lapis lazuli (ground from the actual gemstone).  It is mixed in with the other blues in the sky and water, and it's subtle, but the pigment seems to have a slight shimmer to it.  It was fun to try it out in a painting with lots of blue.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Portrait Drawings From Recent Wed. Evening Sessions

"JOHN, Study #1",  15" x 17", carbon pencil and pastel on Mi Teintes paper
"JOHN, Study #2",  19" x 16", carbon pencil on paper
"SELENA" (detail), 17 1/2" x 14 1/2", carbon pencil on paper
"CHARLIE" (detail), 22 1/2" x 19", pastel pencil and pastel on Mi Teintes paper

This week I'm beginning a color pastel of Peggy and Marcelo, and Kat and Dick have chosen sketch #2 (see below), so I am really looking forward to starting their portrait soon too!

Two miniature portraits will post later this week, but here is a selection of some of my favorite drawings from recent Wed. Eve. Alumni Drawing sessions.  Several of these are scanned details for now until I have a more satisfying shot of the whole image .

Our models continue to be so wonderful! --- a different person each week, alternating men and women.  In Study #1 of John, I tried to convey his gentle side, and in Study #2, his strength.  With these qualities, I can envision him as John the Baptist.  Third is my favorite pose by Selena.  And Charlie held this truly challenging pose with raised arms for 40 minutes and only one break in the middle - Whew!