Nomi Wagner Portrait Artist

Portrait Painting of a Couple Sailing

by Nomi Wagner


Hello Nomi,
I love the way you draw and paint. Is it possible for you to draw from your imagination? My sister’s 40th birthday is coming up and she loves sailing. I want to give her a portrait painting of her sailing a boat with her husband and their dog, Tora. She doesn’t have her own boat yet and I don't have an exact photo of what I have in mind, but I can provide some to help you. We live in the Seattle area, so I would like the setting to be Puget Sound. I want my sister to be at the wheel, sailing left to right, with dark blue rough sea, seagulls above, and clouds. And, oh yes, her surprise birthday party is April 11.

Nomi Wagner, Seattle couple, sailing, painting Hi Kumi,
Yikes! We’d better get to work! My son and his family live near Seattle, so I’m pretty familiar with the area. Would you like me to include Mt. Rainier in the background?

Thanks Nomi,
That would be great and could you also have my brother-in-law holding a beer glass with the logo of his favorite Japanese baseball team?

Hi Kumi.
Thanks for emailing the family photos, but I need more photos of your brother-in-law and Tora. I’ll search the internet for photos of boats that I could reference for the painting. I need to paint a sailboat that has room for the three of them.

Hi Nomi,
My sister is out of the country this week, so it will be easy for me to go over and photograph my brother-in-law and Tora.

Hi Kumi,
I found a boat photo that worked as a reference when I reversed it. Can you photograph your brother-in-law and Tora seated, as in this photo I found and added to my preparatory sketch?

Hi Nomi,
I can do that. I’m really excited to work with you on this painting. Can you make the wheel smaller? I’ll find some photos of sails that I like.

Hi Kumi,
Here is my preliminary drawing with a smaller wheel.


Hi Nomi,
I love the painting so much, can't wait to show her. You did such a great job. The 24x32 canvas is perfect. Thanks for working hard so I could have it in time to get it framed.

Hi Nomi,
My sister, her husband, and all the guests were so amazed and asked me how the painting was created. I made a speech during the party and explained about you and how we composed the portrait by gathering each piece. They were so impressed. Being here in WA (Costco country), they especially liked the surprise Kirkland dog cookie you painted for Tora. My sister told me that the painting will be her most treasured possession.