David Pena

Union Square Studio- The Personal Portrait

Wall Street Bankers

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Anya and Lighthouse
© David Pena 2006
Anya and the Lighthouse
Oil on Canvas
42" x 26"
Price on Request

Robert Holden
© David Pena 2006
Robert Holden
Oil on Canvas - 44" x 36"

Pena looks for clues as to how he might best depict his subject.

From the moment of their first meeting, Pena observes his client's natural gestures, facial expressions, clothing style, general posture, and overall personality.

"I like to have people pose themselves the way they feel most comfortable," he says, "and I try to engage them in conversation while I'm sketching and photographing them. That way, they are less likely to stiffen up and strike an uncharacteristic pose."

Alice Fennell
© David Pena 2006
Alice Fennel
Oil on Canvas - 30" x 40"

Pena arrives for his first painting session at a client's office or home with cameras for recording both color and black-and-white photographs, a French halfeasel, oil paints, sketch pads, charcoal, and a clamp light to improve on the available lighting.


"I try to keep things as simple as possible while still giving myself every option for making studies and taking photographs," Pena explains. "I pose people where they are most comfortable -- standing or sitting -- and I record as much information as time allows.


If time is limited, I just do a head study in charcoal or oil and take pictures. If the client is able to pose for a longer time, I make a full-color sketch of the figure and background.

David Pena 2018 All Rights Reserved
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