Created this pencil drawing of my wife, Stacey, for her birthday. Took the reference photo for this drawing in our family room about a year before I created this piece. Have used our family room a bunch for reference photos for paintings – photos for “Apples” and “Sarah and Emily Still Life” were taken there. Most of the windows in this room face West, so, at the end of the day, I get this wonderful orange-tinted light. Creates some great highlights and deep shadows. Stacey was sitting in the room one late afternoon, and I was struck by the lighting on her. Grabbed my camera and got a few shots. Liked the highlights on her face and her natural pose/look. If you’ve ever met Stacey, you’ll know this pose – the way she’s crossing her legs, the way she’s holding her arms – is totally her. Also like the highlight created by the window on the floor. Never envisioned this photo as a painting – always envisioned it in black and white – wanted to create a painterly-looking drawing that had the feel of an old photograph.