Category Drawing + Painting

Watercolor Pet Portraits

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 1 Comment


I made these watercolor pet portraits for my sister, my cousin, and my parents for Christmas! I also made one for Beth, but I never got to scan it! Anyway, I think they came out really cute, especially Jet! For whatever reason, I feel like a series like this could end up on plates. Is that weird? Anyway, if you would like one, feel free to use my contact page for now! Prices start at $65. :)

Watercolor portrait

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 4 Comments

I painted this portrait of my very close friend (for whom I created the nature baby shower invites) for her birthday. The reference I used is actually a profile photo I loved (so beware facebook friends! I might swipe your photos and paint them…)! I felt it was begging to be drawn and painted… I wonder if other portrait artists feel that way. I’m happy to have painted this; whenever I paint I always think to myself “oh yeah, this is what I should be doing”, but then life and other creative-but-more- “purposeful” endeavors seem to get in the way. I do think that my other creative pursuits are helping me figure out subject matter and my own personal style, which is useful. I certainly wish I could “loosen up” my technique. I’ve been struggling with this since high school, but I do think if I just painted more I could get it down. I’m always so tight and precise in my work, and I’m really curious about exploring how to express something with the least amount of lines possible, and revealing brushstrokes and medium. For example, in this painting I decided to make the peacock feather earrings have dripped paint because I want to emphasize the medium—the paint. My sketches are usually much looser than my finished paintings and drawings, but my finished work is always much more accurate, so I suppose my challenge is to keep the liveliness of my sketching while maintaining the level of accuracy I am going for… or perhaps I can let go of some of that accuracy? Just because I can make something accurate, does that mean I should? Is that dog-like obedience I have to render my source the thing that is keeping me from having the loose style I want to explore? I’m torn, because I know I can definitely still improve my accuracy, and I know I want to explore that as well, but I think it may take me in the opposite direction of where I ultimately want to be. An exercise in accuracy feels a little outmoded in a world full of camera phones; we have immediate access to pixel perfect accuracy. But painting is still something that someone has to do by hand, even with all the filters out there…

original study sketch

Illustrated Portraits

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 1 Comment

Self Portrait

When I was learning how to draw (and I still am, of course, as we never really stop), I remember thinking “if I can just get this drawing to look like the person, it will be a success”.  But, once I satisfied that desire, the pleasure I get when completing a portrait never waned. I’ve been told I’m particularly good at portraits. I specifically remember a time during an art show when I was in the Ryman Program for young artists when Susan Bay Nimoy (Leonard’s wife) came up to me to tell me she’d keep her eye on me after seeing a watercolor portrait I made in class; she said it was the only one that actually looked like the specific model.

Watercolor of a Woman – 1999

That small compliment certainly buoyed my confidence for a while, even if it completely faltered for a long while in college. I don’t think I’ve ever really doubted my technique, but I’ve always doubted my purpose. I put enormous pressure on myself to tackle huge questions and concepts. By the time I was 16 I would often bite off more than I could chew, I stopped enjoying painting and drawing and art just for the simple pleasure and act of creating something from scratch, and having control over pigment. I completely ignored design, which, in hindsight was totally and completely mislead seeing as a have a strong affinity for it. I eschewed the idea of a painting just being something to look pretty on a wall, and now I think, what’s wrong with that!? Sure, art can have a very significant impact on our world, but ultimately it does hang on a wall. And so, now almost 7 years after college, now that I have no one to answer to but myself–no boss, no professor, no room full of peers, no critics–I feel a certain freedom to just draw and paint whatever aesthetic I want to, with no other purpose than to capture a moment, to explore a medium, to create a mood. I’m only annoyed at myself for being so contrived in college, although A for effort, I guess. I guess it’s similar to how I never read any “fluff” books around then either. I was too busy trying to be serious all the time. My aunt told me it wasn’t good for someone my age, lol. And there is some critically acclaimed fluff. I think all of this just taught me the hard lesson of subtlety.

A little study from an ad I did last year

So, I’ve been feeling myself drawn (ha!) to portraiture again. And not as something to look at, but as a process, hopefully with an ending some people (usually the subject of the drawing) will enjoy, but that’s not necessary. Although, to be fair, I completed the below drawings of my nephews and niece as Christmas presents, and the purpose was certainly for their parents to enjoy the finished product. :) I’m also doing most work in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop; seeing as I never took any computer design courses in college, and almost all of my professional work has been done using these programs, I’ve been itching to make portraits digitally since I taught myself how to use them! Also, and this is actually the critical point, it is just much easier to make things in the computer with 9 month old Laelia roaming about; no paint to sit and dry out, no canvases to be ruined or paper to get ripped [everything is set up on my dining room (a.k.a. sewing a.k.a craft a.k.a drafting) table just in case the I get the chance to]. I’m hoping to do some commissioned work, selling my services on Etsy.

Oliver & Gweneth


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