Category Archives: Portraits

The Creative Gathering Group Gallery, September 2023

Our September creative gathering marks the close of our fifth year. Five years of friendly, fruitful, fun. Along with creating 571 pieces of art, over 5000 conversations took place (comments). That’s a whole lot of chit-chat and cheering each other on!

Our daily average number of posts was down this round. Many of our long time members were unable to participate. Fingers crossed they will join us in February. 🥰

I’m so excited, to be able to share a glimpse at the fabulous works created by our group. Below is a video highlighting two pieces from each artist. You will also see a collage of all the work they created during the month. I usually do not include myself in the group gallery, but as it is only a video that will be posted to our group Pinterest board, I added myself at the end.

I struggled to make this, hate to admit. 😆 Photoshop changed things, and I had to learn it all over again. I apologize that there is no music track. I have set a fairly long delay rate, to give you enough time to look through the collages. It runs about 4 minutes, and will repeat. These are low resolution images, so there may be some slight pixelation or blur. But that serves to protect the works from being copied.

Grab a cuppa’ and enjoy!

The Creative Gathering Group Gallery 9 23

Congratulations to each of you!
You set aside time for yourself,
& your dedication has tangible results.
You had a fabulous month of creating!

I’m so grateful to be able to share this time with you!

Wishing you JOY
& bountiful creating!

Share, Subscribe, & Say Hello!

Photo Restoration

Young Girl, restored
Young Girl, restored

I have three small WIPS going, but I thought I would share this for today. I had to finish it, and it is creative. LOL. I did sort of “paint” a large portion of it.

To begin, here is the original I was given.

Young Girl Original.
Young Girl Original.

Take notice of the missing right shoulder, the lines to the right of the face, and on top. The smudgy dark shadows on her right cheek. And of course there is the huge blob that is the main issue.

I can already see, that I cleaned up the background too much. I either need to completely clean it or add some detail to the lower areas on either side. I think I will copy and paste some of the lighter lines in.

You may not see it, but I could see the outline of her hair, so I know that new section is correct. It did not match the other side, with curls.

What I did:

I have a thing about lines point at the head. I don’t like it. Unless you can clearly see it is a building, a window, or some other detail. This image so so blurred, I decided to just remove those details, to allow her to stand out better. There is also a belief about “poison arrows” in Feng Shui that sticks in the back of my mind. Bad energy.

Right Shoulder
This is missing in the original. From what I see the light is coming from the left. So it could have been cropped out, or there is something in front of her. I copied the left shoulder, flipped it horizontally, and rotated it just a tad, to match the angle of the blouse I could see.

I could see a hint of the collar. I basically had to create it, and the small button. It is barely visible in the final piece, but I think it would be too plain without it.

Hair Edges at 300%.
Hair Edges at 300%.

After the background, I worked on shaping her hair on the lower left, I erased the layer I had copied from the right until I had the bottom hair shape. You can see above how blurry the edges were (on the left). And on the right is where I painted with the background color to create a crisp edge. The very last thing (not in the photo above) I did was to go over these edges, and her neck and blouse, to soften them, so they match the blur that was in the photos already. I blurred lightly, softly. On the brush, you can select the intensity, from 1 to 100%. I was at about 15%.

I copied the right side to the left. Her left eye was distorted, and huge in comparison. I could have just pasted a smaller portion, just the cheek, but it would have taken a lot of work to fix the left eye. Even though this seems like an easy answer, there is still a ton of work involved.

The face, obviously took the most time. Above, you can see in the original, the dark shadows on her cheek and under the eyes. You can see that it has broken up, and well, looks bad. I took the brightest color from her face, and painted with a light, transparent brush, to smooth out those darks. Of course, I am losing some detail in the face, but I think it pays off.

Working around her features was very difficult. We know that the human face is asymmetrical. I did slightly rotate the copy, trying to match up to her chin, but I know I got her chin slightly too pointy, and her face is not as full as it seems in the original. You can still see the line from the copy on the nose of the smoothed photo above. Eliminating that line took for-ev-er.

I am not a portrait artist, but I could see the light was on the left, so I had to alter the copy. I think I still see some of the line in the final photo (1st one.) LOL.

I slightly tapered the eye and lips on the left, I also lightened the shadow forming the nose. Eliminated some of the shadows on the inside corner of the eye. The lips are very subtle, but can you see the difference? I did not touch her left brow, it is clearly visible in the original.

Well, I did it. Went ahead and fixed the background. I am going to look at it again tomorrow, and make adjustments if needed before I send it out. I think I still see the line in the middle of her nose.

Final, background adjusted
Final, background adjusted

Oops again. I took the color out (desaturated) and added a sepia photo filter. Warms it up a bit, but it not overly colorful.

Final Destaurated , with Sepia photo filter added
Final Destaurated , with Sepia photo filter added

Memories are timeless treasures of the heart.

L.Y.A. Postcard #4


L.Y.A. 2016 #4, "Beth" Digital sketch by Michelle Swetnam.

L.Y.A. 2016 #4, “Beth” Digital sketch by Michelle Swetnam.

Yikes, #4 already! Only two more too go. So thankful that I have more side swaps to look forward to as well. This magical card came to me from Alexandria, VA. Which is just outside Washington, D.C..

Michelle Swetnam is a writer as well as an artist, and the back of her card is proof of it. Fourteen lines of tidy penmanship! I can only ever fit four or five in my messy writing. Michelle tells me that she finds drawing on her tablet frustrating. But from where I am sitting, it looks like she has mastered it. Beth has plenty of personality.

Michelle writes Zines on many topics including positivity (love that word) and creativity. She even trades them, and you can contact her if you would like to be part of one of her future projects. Which I am going to do. Sounds fun!

If you send her something beautiful, like a postcard, she will post it on her site and send you something back. How fun is that! You can find Michelle on Instagram and Etsy. I have so got to get on Instagram.

Michelle’s honesty motivated me to take pen to paper and do a quick sketch simply because I have not sketched in a while. I need to add to my faces, that told myself I would try to do more often. Months ago. I am laughing at the cowboy hat. A cross between The Flying Nun and Fire hat I think. It is better than the watercolor I tried today. So I am happy with it!

Thanks Michelle for the inspiration! I love pondering Beth!


Cowboy, 3 x 3 pen on Mineral paper, © 2016 Sheila Delgado

Cowboy, 3 x 3 pen on Mineral paper, © 2016 Sheila Delgado