Posts Tagged ‘portrait-painting’

Egyptian-Necklace (Carolyn) (2007)

“Egyptian Necklace” a portrait of Carolyn -oil on canvas (2007)

Carolyn World oil on canvas (1995)

” Carolyn’s World” oil on canvas (1995)


Dominics painting Aug2017

Oil painting of Dominic

In this paining of my grandson Dominic I tried to capture his desire to always be moving. I took a lot of reference photos of him, in different locations, wearing different clothes . I selected the photo reference I used for this painting because I thought it told a story about a young boy ready to be free to run and jump. I selected the shirt he was wearing because Dominic loves to play with toy cars. The challenge for me was to show Dominic in full figure within a complex environment. I liked the way the afternoon sun was creating interesting highlights. I painted his hair with a used sable brush that had about four strands of hair left on it.
I have painted, in oil on canvas, my seven other grand children.
John Dyess April 2018

This painting of Dominic was accepted in a juried show at the St.Louis Artists’ Guild, called  Clearly Human III. This is a all- media group exhibition of artwork focused on the human figure. This exhibition runs from April 13-May 26, 2018. The opening reception is Friday April 13, 5pm – 8pm.

Frankie-Muse-Freeman copy

In 2007 I created 51 pencil and watercolor portraits for a traveling exhibit of inductees into the Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. This exhibit was sponsored by Anheuser -Busch.  Frankie Muse Freeman who died several days ago was one of the inductees I painted.The exhibit was built and ready to go but I don’t think it ever traveled. I believe it was canceled when Anheuser-Busch was purchased by InBev

Stan Musial

During the 1990’s I created several paintings of Stan Musial, which was a speculative project, suggested by a client that knew the business manager for Stan Musial. Stan would have been happy to sign prints, if we printed the art. We didn’t make prints. Even though I didn’t earn a profit from this painting and a painting of Stan and Red Schoendienst ,I did have the privilege of meeting Stan and later this painting was part of the Stan Musial portion of the St.Louis Baseball Cardinals Hall of Fame in the old Stadium. When the Cardinals moved into the current stadium I got the painting back. This painting was based on a black and white photograph of Stan hitting five  home runs in a double header on May 2,1954  . My client provided a Stan Musial uniform shirt and I found additional reference at the St.Louis City Library. This is an oil on canvas painting.


This is a detail of my oil on canvas painting of Stan and Red Schoendienst . My reference was a black and white photo a

This is a detail of my oil on canvas painting of Stan and Red Schoendienst . My reference was a black and white photo and photos of myself wearing a Cardinals jersey from the 1950’s era and other reference photos of Stan and red.

Egyptian Necklace

This is an oil on canvas painting of my wife Carolyn,wearing a necklace,earrings and bracelet, given to her by a friend of her father. This necklace and bracelet was purchased in Egypt. The painting is titled “Egyptian Necklace”

Egyptian Necklace detail

This is a detail of my painting of Carolyn that shows my technique of applying a thin wash of oil paint thinned in turpentine and Liquin paint medium.

for oil on canvas terchnique t

This is a photo of  Liquin paint medium, a brush, a rag and a jar that contains purple oil paint mixed with Liquin and turpentine which I applied to a painting I am currently working on.  I applied the paint over the painting with the brush than wiped the surface with the rag leaving paint in the valleys of the canvas.

I used burnt umber for the mixture of Liquin ,turpentine and paint on my wife’s painting. When this wash dried I applied oil paint on the peaks of the canvas using a dry brush technique. The necklace,earring and bracelet  was painted last, using a well used bristle brush loaded with oil paint.


Photo reference for Egyptian Necklace.

Sylvester ( model ) 1983

This is my painting of Sylvester that was painted from photographs that I took during a painting session in 1983.

I projected the slide photograph on canvas and drew in pencil on canvas the projected image. When oil paint is applied the pencil drawing is completely covered. Below are photographs of another unfinished portrait using this technique.

oil on canvas step one drawing

Pencil drawing on canvas  that I  drew over the projected slide photograph . Then I used acrylic paint  with a brush to block in values and shapes. After this process is complete I begin to use oil paint over the pencil drawing and acrylic paint.This is as far as I got on this painting.

oil on canvas tecnique

detail from unfinished painting.The canvas size is 24″ wide x 30″ high. There is more to the drawing then I have shown.

Delanie Painting1-10

This is a portrait of my grand-daughter Delanie that began by drawing a projected image of a photograph that I took of her. The  hair was painted with a sable brush that had about four strands of hair on it. This is an oil on canvas painting from the early 2000’s.

Delanie 1

This is one of the many photographs that I took of Delanie, but is not the photograph that I used for the painting.

canvas texture001

When I begin a painting on canvas I apply oil paint that has been thinned with turpentine to fill in the valleys of the canvas and then I begin adding oil  paint on the peaks of the canvas using a dry brush application.


Egyptian Necklace

I will be discussing various techniques that I use to create oil on canvas portrait paintings in future blog posts. I will be describing various techniques used to paint the portraits on this blog post.

Delanie Painting1-10

Delanie portrait

Ed Bright

Ed Bright





Friends Stan and Red

Friends Stan and Red

Sylvester-Native American

Syvester-Native American

Magnolia final painting

This is my final work on the painting of model Magnolia Strange.You can view the beginning stages of this painting in my previous two blog posts.

Magnolia final painting detail

detail of the painting of Magnolia Strange.


Audrey wearing a plaid dress ,sitting in a rocking chair.

Today is the birthday of my daughter Audrey and in this blog post I’m sharing some of the paintings and drawings that she posed for me. This is one of the first of my paintings of Audrey . Oil on canvas, 16″ wide x 20″ high


Drawing of Audrey wearing a flower dress by John Foster Dyess

I have saved this dress that Audrey is wearing. Someday she will get this painting and dress. Black pen and ink drawing on vellum. Colored applied is liquid acrylic paint. 17″ wide x 26″ high This is one of my favorite drawings.


Audrey wearing a pink dress sitting in a rocking chair.

I would create a design challenge when  painting Audrey. I wanted to focus on the figure of Audrey emerging from darkness and to use the shadow shapes  as an important design element in this painting . Audrey was posing under a sky light for the photo reference I took. All of these paintings were based on photos I took. I have kept this dress also. Oil on canvas 21″ wide x 27″ high.


Audrey wearing her wedding dress at Webster Groves Christian Church. Oil painting by John Foster Dyess

I had Audrey pose for me after her wedding . I suggested to the wedding photographer that he take a similar photo in this church location. The concept of this painting was the light from above creating shapes on her wedding dress and like the previous painting the design created by light and dark.  Oil on canvas 16″ wide x 18″ high.
Happy birthday Audrey and for your patience posing for many illustrations.
Love Dad



painting from life portrait

I painted this portrait of a young woman during  a group painting session at Webster Groves Christian Church in St.Louis MIssouri. It was painted in Palmer Prism Tempera paint on 16″ x 20″ stretched canvas. The model posed in 20 minute sessions for two hours. I finished the painting in my studio using a photo I took of the model as reference.


detail from painting


detail 2


Yesterday,I showed my illustrations students, paintings from life ,that I have created while attending painting groups, in the St.Louis region. I teach these students at St.Louis Community College at Meramec.I will share these paintings ,that I showed my students yesterday and paintings I show them in the future. This painting is oil on Plyex canvas board and is 13.5″x13.5″ These paintings are for sale.  This one is $300.00 plus shipping cost.        John Dyess


This is a detail of the painting.