Custom Portrait: Man's Best Friend, Marymoor Park
by Anne Kostecki
When I was approached by Anna early in 2021, she knew exactly what she wanted for her custom portrait gift for her fiance. In her own words, she wanted "A painting that would have him in Marymoor Park in Seattle, wearing a letterman's jacket (showing his back, not face), with a gym bag, a football and his black Labrador leaping into the water while he is throwing a ball." She was well prepared and sent me a packet of reference photos and more information. I knew that incorporating so many disparate elements would be a challenge, but Anna was patient as I worked it out.
I researched Marymoor Park, and constructed an image with the figure and the dog on the right side, and the direction of the movement toward the left. This was meant to represent this was a view of the past, and that this was a memory. I had limited photos of the figure, so I focused on the body and pose, and through the direction of Anna, less focus on the face. She wanted a football and drumsticks sticking out of the gym bag, which I drew from imagination. I chose acrylic as the medium so that I can spend time focusing on the texture and buildup of the paint, which I think lended itself well to the final image.
My client was so elated with the result, she sent a photo of her fiance posing with the portrait, a smile on his face.