The Dream

Discovering New Artists – April 2012

I’m always on the lookout for artists whose work inspires me, so I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourites that I’ve discovered recently

Stephanie Rew

Stephanie Rew artist

Seated on Red Uchikake kimono

I stumbled upon Stephanie’s art after she posted in the Robert Liberace group on Facebook, and I was very impressed by her beautiful figure paintings. She also paints a lot of women in colourful kimonos, and manages to capture the intricate patterns perfectly.

Visit Stephanie’s website

Follow @stephrew71 on Twitter

Stephanie Deshpande

The Dream

The Dream

Another Stephanie, who paints masterful representational portraits and still lifes in oils. She also posts sketches and works in progress on her blog.

Visit Stephanie’s website

Follow @stephaniedeshp on Twitter

Paul Cadden

When you first see one of Paul’s works, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a photo, but they are in fact hyper-realistic drawings made with graphite pencils. Not to be confused with photorealism, where a photograph is copied literally, hyperrealism goes beyond the photograph to “create the illusion of a reality which in fact either does not exist or cannot be seen by the human eye.” These drawings have to be seen to be believed.

Visit Paul’s website

Follow Paul Cadden on Facebook

I hope you found something inspiring in these artist’s portfolios. Let me know which one you like best, and if you have any other great artists to share, please let me know in the comments.

Images used with the artists’ permission.

John Lennon portrait by Dan Johnson

Looking Back Along Your Artistic Timeline

I’ve written before about how it’s good practice to look back at your old artwork, to see how much you’ve improved and hopefully give yourself an inspiration boost.

I saw a great idea recently on which suggests posting significant milestones from your art career on your Facebook timeline.

I started doing this on my own Facebook timeline (use the date navigation on the right to ‘go back in time’). So far I’ve posted my first painting, my first artist website, and the other day I posted my first ever proper portrait attempt, a pencil sketch of Eddie Izzard that I did when I was about 14.

This was a great opportunity to compare the portraits I was doing then, to where I am now, around 18 years later:

Dan Johnson Art Comparison

18 years of practice

I’d love to see more examples of this on other artists’ Facebook timelines. If you have a timeline for your art, post a few early milestones, and then leave a comment below with a link to your page so I can check it out.

Draw My Face is back!

In other news, I have decided to create a separate website for my commissioned portraits, pet portraits and baby portraits. I decided to make use of my old domain name, so you can now find my commissioned portraits at

The site has an integrated shop, so it’s now much easier to order your portraits, and all digital paintings now come printed on canvas as standard.

There’s a launch sale going on at the moment, but for you loyal blog readers, I’d also like to offer you a further 20% off any order placed before the end of April 2012. Just use the coupon code BLOG20 in your shopping cart to claim the discount.

Check out what’s on offer now at

Baby and Toddler portraits

I’m at that age now (well, I have been for a few years actually) where everyone around me seems to be having babies.

It seems like every week someone else I know announces their good news!

But as any experienced parent will tell you, those early years are over in the blink of an eye and before you know it, your baby is all grown up and you find yourself looking at baby photos and wondering where the time went (so I’m told – my time has yet to come!)

I think this is why people like to get portraits painted of their babies, to capture that fleeting moment in time  in a painting that will last a lifetime.

I was recently asked to paint this portrait of my sister’s goddaughter, as a present for the parents on the baby’s first birthday. (Click to enlarge)

And I  made a video as I was painting, which shows some of the process:

If you know someone who would appreciate a custom-painted portrait of their little one to treasure forever, you can order one today from

Here are a few more examples of my baby portraits (click to enlarge). Get in touch if you want to discuss a commission.

Digital Black & White

Digital Colour

Acrylics on Canvas