So, in October 2010 I was apart of an auction fundraiser. Long story short, a wonderful family bid and won that custom painting=portrait.
Winter came and they didn't have a great photo reference. So we decided to wait until Spring and I would take some new photos. Spring came, and in May I ruptured a disk in my back. That set me back.... big time. The photos didn't even happen until late summer after I recovered. Then I started the portrait. A couple paintings later, and with help from my mentor, Deb Meyer, who generously taught me some tricks... it finally came together and I love it. And more importantly the family does as well.
In the end it forced me to work in oil and colored pencil.... I have always prefered acrylic paints. Well, this project has given me a new love of oil paint and use of colored pencil. The blendablility, the creamy quality is to die for. What was feeling incredibly frustrating and pressured painting, became a wonderful experience in the end. I am grateful I pushed through those growing pains.