Portrait of An Artist, Michelle Dunaway

You would be hard pressed to find a more soulful and endearing person than Michelle Dunaway. Michelle is a dear friend of mine, a talented fine artist, and an amazing woman.  She and I connect at such a core level – we can share a great laugh, a good cry, an interesting conversation, and always an inspiring creative collaboration. Michelle’s my soul sister 🙂  So I jumped at the chance when Michelle asked me to join her drawing and painting workshop and take pics for American Artist magazine.  Even though I had family shoots each morning, the past 5 days have been a whirlwind of inspiring art, geeking out on technique fundamentals and discussing light, shadow, color and line!  Thank you Michelle – I had so much fun. Who needs sleep?

This is one of Michelle’s beautiful portrait paintings… I saw it in the studio, and I used it to inspire my portrait of her (above).  I wanted it to look like one of her paintings… with soft blue tones and a gaze that draws you in…  (taken with my favorite 85mm 1.2 and letting light enter the lens directly.)


Michelle is a master of the 5 Minute sketch…


Here are a couple of Michelle’s 5 Minute drawings, published in an art book, “Strokes of Genius II, The Best of Drawings.”  Her work is incredibly inspiring to me – it’s confident, sensual, deliberate, and elegant.  There are subtle nuances in even her simplest strokes…


It’s great to have a teacher with a sense of humor and patience.  She always has a kind word of encouragement.


The picture on the left is my drawing of the gorgeous model (shown above).  And another of Michelle’s beautiful 5 Minute demo drawings…


The Workshop was held at the freakishly talented Jeremy Lipking‘s studio in Agoura Hills.  Jeremy, Michelle and I first met at an art gallery in 2001 when I did some posing for them.  Here are some of Jeremy’s figure demo’s and his latest painting…


A couple of interesting characters in the studio…


A couple of juicy close-ups to finish up. I think these pics truly capture Michelle’s sensitivity, beauty and spirit.


I loved switching back and forth from photography to art – what a great way to be challenged, grow and stay inspired!  I’m forever grateful to Michelle for the invitation and most of all… for her friendship.



PS.  Michelle is not only a fabulous artist, but she’s also a phenomenal photographer.  She was the gal behind the lens of my profile pic on the About page of this blog 🙂