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Improving and Improvising

Practicing what I learned last week, I painted a portrait this week. I told Greenwood022 (2) that I wanted to do something Rembrandt like. I had a photo from Halloween of BK’s husband dressed as a sultan and I wanted to use that as a jumping off point.

We looked at an art book with Rembrandt’s paintings and those of his contemporaries. The turban and oriental costume was a frequent theme in art of that time.

Greenwood pointed out to me that the backgrounds were dark to light. You can’t really tell in this photo but the lower right corner is much lighter than the upper left.

I under painted the figure in shades of brown with the pants and pearls both being white. This is also one of my smallest paintings 14cm x 28cm (5.5” x 11”). I didn’t want to be too detailed.

I want to take this to the framers and have a heavy gold frame put on it.

016 (2)This is the painting that I did last week. It makes me think of old seed packets or labels on cans of vegetables. A midcentury sort of feeling to the realism. It’s hung with out a frame contributing to the poster feeling. Here is the original photo to compare.2008-2010 239

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Andrea, thanks for stopping by! I have just started reading sewing blogs and found yours through a link regards FBA which is one of my figure issues. Alas almost 6 decades of gravity have also made for some interesting fitting issues. I will be posting my tee shirt, I’ve decided to make Tuesday my sewing day. Gardening in the morning and sewing in the afternoon.

  2. Hi Theresa,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. :). I love you sultan painting!

  3. Deb, blush, thank you again!

  4. Nope.. I was looking at your painting. It is really great.

  5. Sharon, maybe you and Deb were looking at the photo? The photo has the rice noodles, the painting doesn’t. I have a hard time with compliments, what I really meant to say was Thank you!


  6. Really nice work, Theresa! I had to do the same thing Deb did with the veggie picture. I’m most impressed!

  7. John and Alan, thank you! I can’t wait to frame it.

    Deb, you are so kind to say that.

    Contessa, I really feel like I have made a big leap forward.

    Marianne, LOL, I will take it under advisement. It would make a nice series though.


  8. Fantastic – and I can’t wait to see the sultan’s harem.

  9. You are improving….brava!

  10. Wow the vegetables are incredible. I honestly had to look close to see it wasn’t the actual photo.

    Great Work!

    Deb Redmond

  11. I really like the sultan- nice detail.

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