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My Portraits

Welcome to my writer's den, home of a real artist, lover of of life, and all good people, places, and history. Thank you for being here.

Something Special

Mikey On Drums

Mikey On Drums

Technically, a portrait is a composition based on how one person views another, and relates it from heart to eye to hand to paper. Place two people in a room and ask them what they see, and no two people will see the same person in the same way.

People are living works of historical art, and should be identified as such. This is the world through my eyes. Below are examples of my art work. It is my desire to share my perspective with hope that my experience will aid fellow artists in training their eyes to see.

The Wizardry Of Mrs. G.


The Power Of Light

While at my nephew's house celebrating the third birthday of his triplets (yes, I'm a great aunt), I noticed his mother-in-law standing by the stove.

Mrs. G. is a lovely lady, and was recovering from a bad fall. As she rubbed her neck with one hand, and dipped her hand in a bowl of potato chips with the other, I took her picture. There was something magic about the whole thing - the lighting, the way she helped her daughter in the kitchen, the way she hugged her grand children - that just seemed like magic to me.

This one photo was my inspiration for a series of what would be a lifelong commitment to promoting the art of the family.

A Portrait For Mother's Day


Mother And Child In Shades Of Amber

The the lady you see in this portrait is the lovely daughter of Mrs. G. This is the proud mother of five, three are triplets. This art was based on a photo taken at the triplet's birthday party. This sepia tinted photo illustration printed on parchment serves as another example of how I see parental prestige.

Portrait Of Becca's Grand Baby - Forty Colored Pencils


Baby In The Car Seat

This is the grand daughter of a very special person. One day she saw me working on some art cards, and asked if I could do portraits of her grandchildren from her photographs. She said her pictures were not that good. I told her to give me what she had, and I would try and do my best with what she had.

When doing an illustration from a photograph, often I see things that aren't there, and eliminate things that are there. I guess that is an artist's 'poetic' license. This drawing was done with forty colored pencils on 8x10, 140 lb. water color paper.

Capturing Warm Smiles


For The Love Of A Mother And Child

More often than not, many unsung heroes are the Mothers and Fathers of handicapped children. This particular mother's first born child was healthy at birth. At six months old, her pediatrician erred. It was proven that her once healthy baby was over vaccinated, which left this mother with a permanently disabled child who would live with seizures the rest of her life.

This mother is special in that she is my sister, and her oldest daughter is my niece. Although her daughter is over 40 years old, my sister has home cared for her since birth. I took a picture of them last year in our Mom's kitchen. When I took the picture, I did not see a disabled child, or an overworked mother - I saw the utmost example of The Greatest Love Ever.

My portrait was drawn on 90 lb. water color paper with colored pencils, and a prismacolor black pen.

Theresa With Her Babies


A Mother Daughter Portrait

This is a portrait of my sister's other daughter. My niece and her husband are foster parents. They adopted one little girl, and hope to adopt this baby, too. This drawing is composed of colored pencil and black PrismaColor pen on 90 lb. watercolor paper.

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Note: Since this portrait was drawn, three more have been completed. My dear neice now has three adopted children. Their portraits will be added to this gallery in the near future.

Yukari San

Yukari's Portrait

Yukari's Portrait

A Living Work Of Art

My friend in Japan is a fine professional model. This is one of several portraits I've done of her. This composition was done with 40 colored pencils and black fine point marker on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

Drawing this portrait was a reminder that not all colored pencils are alike. A Berol Eagle Blue Pencil is not the same as a Prismacolor Blue Pencil. One has a softer lead, one has a more vibrant hue, or different shade of blue. One pencil will layer colors better than another, and others are totally non-erasable.

My odd colored pencil mix is due to my not wanting to waste anything. I use a pencil until I can't hold the stub between my fingers anymore. The colored pencils I use are a remnant mix of odds and ends acquired throughout the course of my lifetime, and range from the old Dixon, SpectraColor Venus, and Berol Eagle pencils, to the more modern Kodak, Crayola, and Prismacolor colored pencils.

Over the years, pencil manufactureres have come and gone. Different types of materials are used to make colored pencils now, and the methods for their manufacture have changed. When I run out of something old, it is sometimes difficult to match a color or product that is not made anymore. This is one reason why most professional artists prefer to use one type of pencil, pen, marker, or paint for their compositions

Mikayla's Mother - Wedding day

Mikayla's Mother - Wedding Portrait

Mikayla's Mother - Wedding Portrait

All Hands On Desk

MyPortrait of Mikayla - Sleeping Beauty by Tonie Cook

MyPortrait of Mikayla - Sleeping Beauty by Tonie Cook

Creative Minds Think Alike

This is one of four portraits I've done of Mikayla about six years ago. When I first saw my Aunt's Great Grand Daughter, she instantly became my new muse. As I worked on this drawing until the wee hours of the morning to finish it, I realized just how much we were alike. At that moment while putting on the finishing touches on our hand work, we were both dozing off at our desks.

My Portrait of Robbie

This Mikayla's big brother, Robbie. He was the first of my aunt's great grand children, and this portrait was done three years ago.

Recently, my aunt sent me a photo of Robbie at the golf coarse, and I am currently working on one of his first golf outing.

A Moment In Time Out


My Celebrity Portrait Art

La Bron James - Cleveland Cavelier

While watching a Cavs game a few years ago, an announcer was talking about the opposing team during a time out. All the while the announcer was gabbing, a camera was panning the court, never focusing on any one thing. When the camera began to pan the Cavs, Mr. James caught my eye.

For that brief moment, I saw something the camera did not. While wiping the sweat from his brow, La Bron James reminded me of a child in prayer. The time out ended, the game resumed, and the Cleveland Caveliers walked out of that game as winners. I walked away from the television set with an idea.

My portrait titled "La Bron James: A Moment In Time Out." The mixed media design is comprised of ink and colored pencil on 140 lb. watercolor paper, framed within hand made paper. It was designed to be small, sized to ACEO standards (Art Card Edition Original 2.5" x 3.5").

While drawing the portrait, it bothered me that the fans were no longer allowed to wave the giant hands in the stands in support of their favorite team. My original ACEO La Bron James "Fan Tag" was designed to hang on a shirt button.

The La Bron James Fan Tag is a one of a kind item , and "A Moment In Time Out" currently resides with a private collector.

Hillary Clinton - 2008

ACEO Portrait of Hillary Clinton by Tonie Cook

ACEO Portrait of Hillary Clinton by Tonie Cook

Candidate At The Podium

The 2008 Presidential Election had some historic moments. Hillary Clinton's magnificent run for the Democratic nominee for presidential candidate was something to be applauded.

Above is my ACEO portrait of Hillary Clinton at the 2008 Democratic Convention. The art card is a drawing composed of colored pencil and black PrismaColor marker on watercolor paper. This art now resides with a private collector.

The Palin Campaign

ACEO Portrait of Sara Palin by Tonie Cook

ACEO Portrait of Sara Palin by Tonie Cook

2008 Republican Vice Presidential Candidate

Sarah Palin made history in 2008 by being the Vice Presidential candidate of choice by the Honorable John McCain. Ms. Palin was well qualified for the position, she is well spoken and loved by the people she represents.

Above is my ACEO portrait drawing of Sarah Palin. The art card iscomposed of colored pencil and black PrismaColor marker on watercolor paper. This art now resides with a private collector.

Georgie Wears A Hat

My Interactive Children's Portrait Book

The above video is a little interactive child book I produced for my artist friend, Mary Vogel Lozinak. The idea began with my colored pencil drawing of little Georgie. As he was a bald baby, his lead looked cold to me. From that point, I created an activity book that he could learn from. Mary has the original portrait, and she said her Mother keeps the book at her home, and whenever Georgie visits, the book comes out to play with. It is hard to believe he is going on seven years old now. An idea is in the works for Georgie's little brother..

The Art Of Peace

When fellow artist, Mary Vogel Lozinak, became a Grandmother, her new grandson became my Muse of Summer 2010. With permission, I drew the portrait as I saw it. The original portrait is with Mary, and with her blessing, the portrait of "Little Magoo" is the 2010 mascot of Peace Point Stamp Products. Magoo's little brother is destined to be an official member at Peace Point, as well. My original portrait was drawn with 40 colored pencils on 90 lb. water color paper. This portrait currently resides with a private collector

Welcome Home


© 2009 Tonie Cook

Do You Like My Portraits?

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on May 19, 2017:

They are truly wonderful. Your description gives us the background to really appreciate the subject and your treatment of them.

Ana on April 06, 2013:

I can only say - WOW! You are so talented:) I love all the portraits:) They are amazing:)

Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on July 25, 2012:

Lovely portraits!

Laraine Sims from Lake Country, B.C. on June 09, 2012:

Came back to see if my squidlike and blessing will stick ... love this lens!

Laraine Sims from Lake Country, B.C. on June 06, 2012:

You do beautiful portraits! Thank you for adding your lens to my Artists lens. Angel blessings!

Ruthi on March 11, 2012:

What's not to like? Your talent for portrait drawing is amazing! I so enjoyed the story behind each of these portraits you have so beautifully drawn.

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on February 23, 2012:

Just back to bless this beautiful lens...stay blessed! :)

PaulaSquidoo on January 26, 2012:

Yes, I like them very much. You portraits seem more life-like than many of the actual pictures you featured on this lens. Incredible.

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on November 20, 2011:

Wow, these are beautifully done ~ you're super talented. I loved all your portraits and the story behind them as well. It made me want to get back to drawing some portraits myself. I've done a few when I was in my teens, but haven't done one in ages. Beautiful work...blessings! :)

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on November 10, 2011:

I'm blown away by the beauty of your portraits! Your talent has me in awe. I draw a little but mostly little botanicals and some cartooning.

Blessed by a squid angel.

sue826 lm on August 20, 2011:

You are so talented - I love color pencil and your work!

resabi on July 01, 2011:

So much of you shines through these portraits and your stories. I found this lens so intriguing. Really lovely.

Jeanette from Australia on June 30, 2011:

Absolutely! You are so talented and the stories are quite touching. Beautiful!

kathysart on May 02, 2011:

YES! You are achieved a wonderful likeness of the people you have painted. It takes seeing into their soul to do that.. you have. Beautiful work.

Bella Stella on April 06, 2011:

Your portraits are amazing. I liked the fact that you had added your own comments about some of the portraits. It is a very good, worth reading lens! Congratulations on it!

JenniferAkers LM on March 30, 2011:

You're an incredible artist. I really enjoyed your portraits.

Patricia on February 25, 2011:

These are so good! Blessing this lens!

LouisaDembul on January 13, 2011:

I love your style and your choice of colors, really really good!

Mona from Iowa on November 20, 2010:

These are really beautifully done. You've got a great talent for capturing people.

puzzlerpaige on September 30, 2010:

Reading and viewing this lens has been a blessing to ME today. I am amazed at artists who can draw a good portrait. I've never been able to do it. I see why you liked the image of Mrs. G. And how did you paint the portrait of Le Bron James? Were you able to get a still shot to work from somehow? Did you do it from memory? Your art is amazing.

Oh, one more thing...after reading the phrase "40 colored pencils" a couple of times on your lens, it all of a sudden sounded like a good name for a book (or lens). Forty Colored Pencils.

Home Interior D on September 30, 2010:

You have a great talent. I particularly like your political portraits which are the best I've seen of these famous figures.

TriviaChamp on September 30, 2010:

Amazing! You are so talented. The shadowing and facial expression that you captured with the Mrs. G. portrait is simply stunning. Kudos!

anonymous on September 14, 2010:

You've a great job, they're beautiful pictures!

dancerene on September 14, 2010:

WOW, I love your portraits! I really do!

tandemonimom lm on September 09, 2010:

These are stunning! Thank you for sharing your art. My 15yo daughter is an artist and I shared them with her - she loved them too!

Diana Grant from United Kingdom on July 04, 2010:

Yes, I really liked them, especially the one of your sister and niece - it really did have the love shining through.

I've just started going to live portrait classes, and really enjoying it.

Sharon Weaver from Los Angeles, CA on June 21, 2010:

Your portraits show your talent. Good work.

Michelle Collins from Florida on June 06, 2010:

Wow! Absolutely Beautiful!!!!

Patricia on May 04, 2010:

Love your portraits! Blessed by an angel!

RickBasset on May 02, 2010:

You do gorgeous work! Thanks for sharing with us!



rewards4life info on March 15, 2010:

What a beautiful collection of drawings. I love your realistic portraits, and color pallets you are using. Really enjoyed this visit. =)

norma-holt on March 09, 2010:

What a beautiful lens and you are so talented with your drawings. I have lens rolled this to Art Supplies and also featured it there. Top marks


Leanne Chesser on February 13, 2010:

Your portraits are beautiful! Blessed.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on January 10, 2010:

Your portraits are so warm and wonderful. They go much deeper than just the paint on paper. You feel emotion when looking at them. Thank you so much for sharing your talent. I still have a little Angel Dust left that I am sprinkling here.

Lee Hansen from Vermont on December 14, 2009:

Portraits are my favorite subject for photographic and hand drawn art. This lens is an incredibly creative showcase for a talented and generous artist - thank you for sharing your work, and all the tips for we who want to improve our technique! 5* and lensrolled tomy lens about Giclee prints.

Holley Web on December 09, 2009:

Wow! What an incredible artist you are! I don't know which I like best, they are all beautiful. ~Blessed by a Squid Angel~

divacratus 2 on December 08, 2009:

I loved the portrait of your sister and her oldest daughter. Touching! Beautiful lens.

Kathy McGraw from California on December 07, 2009:

I really loved reading this and your portraits are beautiful. Congratulations on being nominated in the Giant Squid Awards :)

sukkran trichy from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on December 06, 2009:

yes i do, what a wonderful lens it is. i enjoyed it. thanks

Patricia on December 02, 2009:

These are great! You are very talented! Blessed by an angel!

Darla Dixon on November 29, 2009:

Really great work, I create portraits too, and I enjoyed your lens.

justholidays on November 29, 2009:

Really enjoyed being on this lens and looking at those splendid portraits!

And congratulations on your nomination for the 2009 Giant Squid Awards!


Cheryl Kohan from England on September 25, 2009:

Really lovely are a talented lady, that's for sure. Congratulations on your Purple Star.

WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on September 15, 2009:

Congrats on Your Purple Star! Wonderful Art Work and Wonderful Story!

anonymous on September 07, 2009:

I was utterly fascinated by the way you manipulate photographic images, I'm so glad I came over to say hi and thanks for visiting me! I'll be back to look at these pictures some more...

hotbrain from Tacoma, WA on August 24, 2009:

Great portraits! A very enjoyable lens, too. Thank you.

Rich from Surrey, United Kingdom on August 23, 2009:

Beautiful work and what a gift. Very much enjoyed my visit. Congrats on your well deserved Purple Star :)

Paula Atwell from Cleveland, OH on August 10, 2009:

Blessed by an angel.

anonymous on August 07, 2009:

Congratz on your purple star! This is a super lens, thank you!

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on August 06, 2009:

Beautiful lens. Well worth the purple star.

anonymous on July 29, 2009:

i think your art is great

take a look at my work on portrait master/ efuaportraits and give me some feedback if u can.xx

clouda9 lm on July 11, 2009:

You are so creative and one of the nicest gals I have 'met' here on Squidoo. Well deserved purple star for art from the heart!

ctavias0ffering1 on June 18, 2009:

Stunning portraits 5*

Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on June 15, 2009:

Congratulations on your purple star! Your art work is beautiful and I really enjoyed about reading about your inspiration from Mrs. G.

AbbyJ on June 10, 2009:

Wow! You are an amazingly talented artist, I love all of your portraits. I am totally in awe of your talent, Great lens!

Tiddledeewinks LM on June 07, 2009:

Very talented! I love the bright colors in the Hilliary Clinton portrait. 5 *'s

atirial on June 07, 2009:

Congratulations on your purple star. This lens is outstanding!

Mickie Gee on June 06, 2009:

Multi-talented lady, you are! Your lens deserves the attention the purple star gives it!

Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on June 06, 2009:

You are an accomplished artist. Very nice portraits by you. I love ACEO and have made some myself using folded paper. Lovely, lens.

Patricia on June 05, 2009:

Wow! Great portraits! Congrats on the purple star!

anonymous on June 05, 2009:

Wow! You are really talented...great job :)

CoolFoto on June 05, 2009:

Congratulations on your Purple Star! Love your portraits. You are very talented.

Linda Hoxie from Idaho on June 03, 2009:

Charlino, these are so beautiful, the light on all three around your aunt, the incredible likeness of all of them. I thought they were digitally altered photo's until I started reading below each of them. Incredibly talented artist you are!

anonymous on June 03, 2009:

Charlino! You are so talented! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful artwork with us!



atirial on June 03, 2009:

These are beautiful -You are a really talented artist!

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