Acrylic Portrait, Allen Art Studio, Art Journal, John F. Allen, Portrait in Progress

As  I sit in my writing office/art studio, I can feel the electric tingle of excitement from starting a portrait! It has been about two or three years since I took on a portrait project and I was a bit nervous about the prospect of tackling one after being so long in hiatus.  However, I’m extremely excited nonetheless.

I will be sharing my progress here and on facebook as I go along.

2013-10-29 17.57.01

Here is the reference photo. This is my son at seven months old.

2013-10-29 18.02.28

I pulled the photo up on my monitor and did a free hand line sketch of it on canvas board.

From this point I’ll continue chronicling my progress in another blog entry/post later this week. I will provide more pics of my progress from laying in layers of pigment and watching this portrait take shape.

Until then, remember TBIYTC!!!



Allen Art Studio, Artist reflection, John F. Allen

Good afternoon! I want to welcome you to Allen Art Studio! My name is John F. Allen and I’m the artist behind this blog/website.

I encourage you to take a look at my work and contact me if you’d like. I’m currently accepting commissions for portraits and I have some caricature services  availabilities for events throughout the remainder of the year.

This weekend I took an assessment of which side of my brain was most dominant. The results yielded that my brain is equally yoked. What this means is that I’m basically just as analytical as I am creative. I suppose I’m always felt that to be accurate, at least to some degree. That simple quiz sparked something inside of me that has been mostly dormant for the past few years.

PencilsPastel sticksColored PencilsAcrylic Paint

I have rediscovered my passion to create artwork!


I haven’t been in a total creative void. Between my last painting and drawing, I’ve managed to write a novel, a dozen short stories nearly one hundred blog posts and a handful of poems. If I’m completely honest with myself, I can admit that there has always been a bit of a struggle between my left and right brain. It very similar to the struggle that I’ve had with my desire to write and my desire to draw/paint.

What I’ve failed to realize until recently, is that there is no law which says that I can’t do both.

The time that I spent away from the drawing board and easel, I knew something was missing. Despite the fulfillment I get from my writing, I couldn’t escape the allure of the pencil and paintbrush. During the time I spent writing and promoting my novel, I still found time to sneak in a few drawings of the very characters I was writing about. I even played a small role in the finished cover to the novel as well.

Art is who I am, every bit as much as writing. To show you how difficult it would be to abandon my passion for art, the main character in my novel is a former art thief with a degree in art history, who now recovers stolen artwork for collectors.  My dual nature of expression is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing in that I can express myself through both visual arts and the written word more easily than some others, which gives me a double barreled outlet for my muse(s).

The curse is that for so long, those very same dual natures played tug of war with my soul and tricked me into believing that I could live and be happy without the other. That was where the analytical portion of my brain came into play. I tried to rationalize which one I would choose to pursue, while practically abandoning the other.

And that was the BIG lie I told myself…one or the other!

Now that I realize just how much I need both my artwork and my writing in my life, I am using that rational side of my brain to develop a way for them both to co-exist and work together for the greater good…my sanity!

So, as I make this perilous journey into the abyss that is my sometimes conflicted, Uber creative mind, I can take comfort in the fact that the road ahead will most certainly be one filled with excitement, adventure and wonderment. I am an artist…I am a writer…and I AM PROUD OF IT!