Portrait Paintings

One More Painting

I know a not-so-secret formula for winning: Keep it simple. Winning can mean different things to me, but in the instance of painting, it’s all about painting one more painting.

Each morning, I ask myself this: Can I paint another painting?

For the last 3 weeks, mainly, I have been occupied with one painting: standing 30 inches wide and 40 inches high, it’s one of the largest portraits that I have executed. It’s really a large study of colors and values. There were so many parts of the painting that needed time consuming attention: background, chairs, small step stool, snakeskin sneakers with laces, jean overall, and the model.

Three Rings – 40” x 30” – Oil on Canvas

All the days that I worked on this painting, I have wondered what’s happening in front of my eyes. Just in the U.S. alone, we have lost 740K+ people to this pandemic, and based on the number of cases and deaths, the number will continue to increase for some time, especially in the parts of the country that have been experiencing COVID outbreak really for the first time. Good news is that now there are more ways to treat COVID, and the vaccines have been available for months.

When riding a crowded subway car, I stood next to a mother and a child. The boy must have been 5 or younger. Her mother read children’s books to him while coughing and sneezing throughout the ride. My mind wondered as I watched this seemingly innocent scene from the past. Soon I left the subway car, went to the studio, and finished my painting.

The last day of painting from life feels so sad, but also very festive and beautiful.

I am ready to paint one more painting.

Cropped image from the same painting

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Portrait Paintings


I traveled to India some years ago. I have vivid images from my experience there. India is a beautiful place, full of colorful people and big smiles.

Pencil on Paper

It has been tough listening and watching all the news about what’s happening there now. There were more than 414K+ Covid-19 cases within 24 hours…

I have been looking back to my photo archives from my trip. To my surprise, there are lots of pictures of people that I met there, because people were so kind and inviting to take photos of them. I wonder how all of them are doing at this moment. My heart goes out to everyone there.

I hope the situation improves rapidly in India.

Portrait Paintings

Another Night In NYC

So I have been painting these little portraits between working on my commission works. This one was painted via Zoom, last night with Henry, who I have painted and spoken with in the past.

Oil on Paper, 12” x 9”

During this pandemic, I have been using various way of preparing painting surfaces on paper, and it’s working out pretty well. I typically have used double primed linen, and I have found hard to use any other surface for oil painting, but I think I found a reliable way to paint as I do on linen on paper.

If you want to see painting process of this painting, check out my Instagram Reel on this painting. Enjoy!

Eco-Friendly Oil Painting Series

  • PART 1 – Know the dangers of using solvents and chemicals
  • PART II – Recommended Colors for Portraits Painting
Portrait Paintings

25 Percent

Oil on Paper, 12″ x 9″ — As of today, according to CDC’s data tracker, about 25% of Americans (~82,471,151 people) are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19. I am optimistic that things will be much better in the coming weeks. To celebrate my optimism, I began painting oil portraits for my 100 Human Project–I had produced the first 50 using mostly pencil and pen.

Here are three photos showing my painting process for this painting that I originally posted as my Instagram Post on 13 April 2021.

Portrait Paintings

Girl with a Scarf

Oil on Paper, 12″ x 9″ — After months of focusing on value studies using graphite pencils, I have begun executing oil portraits using a modified version the the Zorn Palette.

Visit the following Instagram link to view the painting progress:

These type of portraits take about 2 to 3 hour from start to finish, and they are quite fun little projects between bigger projects.

Follow me on Instagram to see more or them.

Once finished, the painting is hung to dry for a few days.

Portrait Paintings

A Few Paintings and Stories from 2020

2020 has been unpredictable. The first half of the year was especially strange. Experiencing the complete lock down of New York City, and all the uncertainty of the near future made everything so strange.

Escaping from all that uncertainty–to my surprise–created unexpected opportunities, connecting me with artists from New York City and beyond.

The selected images on this post showcases some of the works that I created from January to June. The following are the excerpts from my Instagram posts:

January 3, 2020: This is the final product that transitioned me from 2019 to 2020. I finished it around 11:30 AM today.

January 26, 2020: Oil on Canvas – 30” x 24” – Daedalus & His Wings — This is the final view of my latest project. Sending huge thanks to Donato for the inspiring pose!

February 17, 2020: Oil on Canvas—27” x 48” inches: This is the final product. This project—which was executed from Jan 27 through Feb 14—brought lots of good personal memories. Besides my own stories, here are 5 stories that caught my attention in the course of 3 weeks: (1) Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna died in helicopter crash, (2) The Coronavirus scare accelerated as new cases of the virus found in U.S. patients–noticeable number of people in New York City has been wearing face masks, (3) On 5 Feb 2020, Trump was acquitted on 2 Articles of Impeachment, (4) Pentagon diverted $3.8 Billion to pay for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, (5) Bumble Bees are disappearing due to climate change.

February 28, 2020: I am about to check out “Countryside, The Future” exhibition at #Guggenheim. Oh. In case you are wondering, I safeguarded my latest portrait—still work in progress—from coronavirus.
Swipe to see how the painting developed today: I worked on the face and the hands, btw. PS: Seriously speaking, stay safe out there and remember to wash your hands often!

March 10, 2020: Painting slow and painting fast—After spending 2 weeks on my last painting—I need another day or so to finish that painting—I returned to paint an #allaprima to loosen things up a bit. I find it helpful to paint a long and short paintings concurrently and also drawing constantly—See my post yesterday for samples: As some of you might know from looking at my drawings, I am a big fan of quick drawings, especially line drawings.

April 11, 2020: Oil on Linen – This is my first finished portrait of my wife, one of the dedicated New York City Teachers, who has been teaching our New York City students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As some of you know, the NYC department of education unleashed distance learning to 1.1 Million Students, while continuing to provide FREE ‘Grab and Go Meals’ to all those in need. My hat goes off to teachers, the department of education, and supporting organizations.

This portrait was executed in 3 phases on the following days: April 5th, 6th, and 8th.

May 13, 2020: Oil on Linen, 10” x 8”, title: Raising Covid-19 — Here are the latest stats on Covid-19 (World) 4.3 Million+ confirmed Covid-19 cases, 292K deaths. (United States) 83K deaths—28% of the confirmed deaths in the world thus far come from the United States. I suspect comparing these stats among countries don’t mean much since the majority of the countries are not counting—or testing for that matter—the same way we are counting here in the U.S. No worries, though—We are still # 1.

May 28, 2020: As we welcome the return of traders to the floor of the NYSE this week, here is a painting to remember this epic week—a life portrait of my friend @dougholtstudios, a fellow artist here in New York City.

June 12, 2020: We have welcomed the reopening of New York City after so many weeks of being quarantined. Some states that had opened up first have been reporting increased Covid-19 cases, but that is no surprise. One thing is for sure: reopening of our economy will require relentless forward movement.

Here are the latest stats on Covid-19 (World) 7.27Million+ confirmed Covid-19 cases, 413K deaths. (United States) 116Kdeaths—28% of the confirmed deaths in the world thus far come from the United States. 

Exhibitions Portrait Paintings

The International Self Portrait Project

The Internal Self Portrait Project from The Portrait Society of America
Title: 4 Million+
Medium: Oil on Linen
Size: 20″ x 16″
Creation Date: 24 July 2020

About The International Self Portrait Project

The Portrait Society of America‘s International Self Portrait Project is an online-only contest during the current COVID-19 health crisis, challenging artists around the world to paint, draw or sculpt their quarantine self-portrait.

Click here to view my work and many other self-portraits from so many talented artists.

Why 4 Million+?

On 24 July 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 4 Million+ in the U.S. Hearing the news initiated this self portrait, eventually leading me to paint my left hand to symbolize 4 Million, and to name the painting 4 Million+.

In case you are wondering, the figurative painting painted next to my self portrait is from a life portrait class at the Art Students League of New York. This project was interrupted due to COVID-19 back in March 6th. On March 21st, when there were only 8,403 confirmed cases in New York City, I hung this painting near a window where I paint. I spent whole lot of my time painting and producing during this pandemic with the painting near me, so I was compelled to include it in my self-portrait.

I invite you to view my submission from the competition website below:

Portrait Paintings


Title: 500K
Medium: Oil on Linen
Size: 5″ x 9″
Completion Date: 29 June 2020

More than Half Million patients apparently died from COVID-19. That’s really sad… I heard that news as I was finishing up this small portrait.