About a year ago, I met Andrea in Prospect Park while we were walking our dogs. We got to talking and the subject came around to art. When I mentioned I paint, she became interested and so I handed her my postcard. She started telling me about how she'd always wanted to have a more unconventional portrait of her son, Grayson, done with a sort of sci-fi setting and my style fit the bill. After several conversations, she hired me to do the portrait as a gift for her husband. I was a little nervous, having never painted anyone under 18 before. Luckily Grayson was a real character and kept us smiling during the photoshoot:

I'd done a few sketches for composition - Andrea liked the idea of Grayson in front of a window looking out on a otherworldly landscape, but she didn't want it too over the top. The image on the right was closest but she was looking for something simpler.

Then during the photoshoot we had one of those happy accidents where on a break, Grayson threw his hand over the back of the chair and I took some shots. It ended up being just the right pose for his personality and Andrea agreed this would be a great image to work around. She even wanted to keep the watch in. I created the drawing:

And after approval, the painting:

It's no secret that I love painting portraits, and getting the opportunity to bring portraiture and my affinity for fiction together made this a great job. We all ended up happy with how this one turned out- and no doubt it will be the most memorable Christmas present this year!