Posts tagged “portrait

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Antiquity of the Soul – Steven Paul Carlson

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Antiquity of the Soul – Pastel 16” x 20”

One can see and feel the history etched into this man’s face and antiquity its-self reflecting in his eyes. I had great fun painting the bright colored head cloth with its intricate patterns, wrinkles and folds juxtaposed with his face and the similar intricate patterns. This is one of my all time favorite portraits.

I met an individual at an art show who was from this part of the world.  He told me that the head wrap they wear, the colors and patterns, tells you what region the person is from.  Fascinating!


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Summer Girl – Steven Paul Carlson

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Summer Girl – pastel 16” x 20”

Flyaway blond hair, freckles, and that faint smile easily makes this one of my favorite portraits.

It’s mid February and I have spring fever! I was hoping this beautiful summer image might hasten the coming of warmer weather.

But then…
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck,

There are no prints of this piece only the original.


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India – Steven Paul Carlson

India – pastel 16” x 20”

This stunning face still captivates me; it was an absolutely wonderful portrait to paint. It is one of those rare pieces of my own art that actually hangs in my house. 😉

The textures here also intrigued me; the necklace, the embroidery on her clothing and then creating the sheer effect of the veil.

Like the Viking portrait this too is rendered with pastels. It’s an intricate layering technique using different pastels with a final detail finish of pastel pencil. This layering process gives the portrait an oil painting, oil glaze look.

There are no prints of this work only the original.


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The young son of Bor – by Steven Paul Carlson

The young son of Bor - by Steven Paul Carlson

The young son of Bor – by Steven Paul Carlson

He was the young son of Bor, the father of the gods.  He was a shapechanger, usually appearing as a vigorous man of fifty with long hair and braided beard, wearing the skins of animals and carrying his unfailing weapon called Gungnir.  Here he is, in the ages before he gave up one of his eyes and before sacrificing his life in exchange for greater wisdom.  Before the time when the other mighty gods would serve him as children serve their father, before he became the god most favored by the Vikings.  His name is Odin, the god of the Norseman!

19” x 26”  Pastel (LE prints available)


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Gandalf the Grey

Gandalf the Grey

“Do not take me for some conjuror of cheap tricks!”

Not Gandalf the Grey! He’s the real deal, only real magic here. And Sir Ian McKellen is certainly the real deal when it comes to portraying the perfect Gandalf.

This is a graphite portrait I’ve been working on for some time; it’s not quite done yet. It’s one of those pieces I’m just doing for my own enjoyment but I did want to share it. It’s 16” X 20” the medium is graphite on board.


The Great Houdini

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The Great Houdini
(March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926)

Graphite on board 16” X 20” – Steven Paul Carlson – Gicleé prints available

The center portrait was created from Houdini’s favorite publicity photo.

On the left Houdini is performing his “challenge handcuff” act; it was in escapes, not magic, that Houdini would find his great success.

On the right is Houdini’s most famous escape, the Chinese Water Torture Cell.  Houdini affectionately referred to it as The Up Side Down.  Contrary to common belief Houdini did not die performing this act.

In the center are the Famous Mirror handcuffs, a custom set of cuffs made as a special challenge for Houdini by the London Daily Mirror in 1904. It was reported that 4000 people and more than 100 journalists turned out for the much-hyped event at London’s Hippodrome theater. The escape attempt dragged on for over three hours.  When Houdini finally emerged free he broke down and wept when he was paraded on the shoulders of the cheering crowd. Houdini later said it was the most difficult escape of his career.


Harry Houdini

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Harry Houdini
(March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926)

Graphite on board 16” X 20” – Steven Paul Carlson – Gicleé prints available

Caught here in a rare moment of repose Houdini was a Hungarian-American magician and escapologist, stunt performer, actor and film producer. He was also a skeptic who set out to expose frauds purporting to be supernatural phenomena. For the majority of his career, Houdini performed his act as a headliner in vaudeville. For many years, he was the highest-paid performer in American vaudeville.

Born Erik Ivan Weisz (he would later spell his birth name as Ehrich Weiss) in Budapest, Hungary, on March 24, 1874, Houdini later claimed in interviews to have been born in Appleton, Wisconsin, on April 6, 1874.
His parents were Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weisz (1829 – 1892)
and his wife Cecilia Steiner (1841 – 1913).   Houdini was one of seven children.