Finished Portrait Art – Drawing of my Wife

Here is a photo of the graphite portrait drawing I completed today of my wife Brigitta. This is from a photo I took of her while we were eating brunch last October at a little restaurant in the Fort Greene / Clinton Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York! This is the neighborhood where she went to grad school for Dance Therapy at The Pratt Institute.

"artist dave white", "dave white art"
Graphite Portrait Drawing

To commission your own special portrait art, please see the Commission Custom Art page.

Grandmother Portrait Painting – “Abue”

A few weeks ago I finished this oil portrait painting of my wife Brigitta’s maternal Nicaraguan grandmother (or ‘abuela’, in Spanish). Her name was Rafaela Corrales Toruño, and Brigitta simply called her “Abue.”

"grandmother portrait painting", "abuela pintura", "grandma portrait painting", "portrait painting", "loudoun artist", "dave white artist", "dave white art", "portrait artist", "portrait art", "ashburn virginia artist", "leesburg virginia artist"
“Abue” Portrait – Oil Painting

Abue had five children, three of which emigrated from Nicaragua to the U.S. in the 1970’s. Abue also came to the U.S. to accompany her first child to come here, Tía Ligia (Tía means “Aunt”, and Tía Ligia was Brigitta’s Aunt Ligia). Then, Brigitta’s Dad came on vacation to visit, which then turned into a permanent stay! Later on, Brigitta’s Tía Cecilia came as well.  Abue’s other two children stayed in Nicaragua. So nowadays, we have family both in Northern Virginia and in Nicaragua (and in Argentina and Ecuador on Brigitta’s Mom’s side)!

I met Abue almost ten years ago, before I spoke much Spanish. Whenever I tried to speak to her in Spanish, she’d turn to Brigitta and say “¿Qué dice?”, or “What is he saying?”. I’m glad I got to experience her liveliness, kindness and family values. She was a true ‘family matriarch.’

Abue lived with Brigitta’s family during much of Brigitta’s childhood, and they spent lots of time together, abuela y nieta (granddaughter), on the famous couch shown in the painting below!

For information on commissioning your very own custom art, you can read about the process, FAQ’s, testimonials, and see a custom art portfolio by clicking here here. Or, you can also just email me at!


Last week my paternal grandfather passed away. David L. White, Sr., was 85 years old and died in his home on his 65th wedding anniversary. We carry the same name…I am David L. White III.

Known by all his grandchildren as “Papaw”, he grew up in rural Scioto County, Ohio, and first left Scioto County when he was 18 and joined the Navy. He then traveled all over the world. After his service in the Navy, he built his career in the Air Force and lived in Pickerington, Ohio.

Papaw was an avid craftsman that could make just about anything. I remember being in his basement as a child, with all of the woodwork and tools, and wanting to build things myself. I think that my artistic side comes from Papaw, as nobody else in my family is as creative with their hands.

He also was a fantastic gardener, as he and Mamaw, my grandmother, would cook many delicious meals from vegetables in their garden in the backyard.

Though stubborn and of the mindset that he was always right, Papaw lived with honor, and pride in his family. He has 14 grandchildren and I believe 7 great-grandchildren.

My relationship with Papaw grew stronger in his last couple of years, as we shared more and he became warmer and gentler. He was a fantastic host during visits with my wife and in-laws.

Yesterday Papaw was returned to the dust and buried in Scioto County, at the White family cemetery. There was a beautiful burial service with 2 men from the Navy to honor and commemorate his service.

Rest in peace, Papaw. Your soul lives on. You will be missed.Papaw Burial

Papaw Burial 2

Papaw in Backyard


"family painting", family, art, painting, "dave white painting", "family portrait", people, grandpa, grandfather, grandson
Papaw and I – Oil Painting on Canvas

Family Portrait Painting Completed!

The portrait painting is finished!

"family portrait painting", "portrait painting", "family painting", "oil portrait", "family portrait art", "dave white artist", "portrait artist", "leesburg artist", "northern virginia artist", "loudoun artist", "dc artist"
Family Portrait Painting | Oil on Belgian Linen Canvas | 18″ x 24″

The creation of this painting was a process of gathering photos of the subjects, aligning them together into a scene to appear as if they had posed together, calculating and measuring proportions during the sketch, and then working magic with the paint and brush!

Here is a quick recap:

  1. Gather Photos: IMG_1839
  2. Measure, Calculate and Sketch

    "family portrait painting", "portrait painting", "family painting", "dave white painting"
    Portrait Painting Sketch
  3. Put some music on and paint!
    "family portrait painting", "portrait painting", "portrait art"
    Portrait Painting Progress
    "family portrait painting", "portrait painting", "portrait art"
    Portrait Painting Progress
    "family portrait painting", "portrait painting", "family painting", "oil portrait", "family portrait art", "dave white artist", "portrait artist", "leesburg artist", "northern virginia artist", "loudoun artist", "dc artist"
    Completed Family Portrait Painting | Oil on Belgian Linen Canvas | 18″ x 24″

    The last step now is to deliver the painting, which will happen either later today or tomorrow!

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all have a great time with your friends and family this week and next!

To commission your own special portrait art, please see the Commission Custom Art page.


A Confession of Love and Proposal for Marriage through Fine Art

Will you marry me? That is the question that will be proposed when this painting is shown (along with a ring) to the surprise recipient – my client’s girlfriend and soon-to-be fiancee.

The idea was born 6 years ago, before he had met his girlfriend, when he was envisioning and dreaming of someone that would be his “saving angel” from his distressed past.

This vision is reflected in the painting – a reach to the sky and toward the one he loves, while breaking free from a tormenting connection to trouble, depicted through a chained connection to a representation of the devil.

Witnessing the moment are the bride-to-be’s sister, brother, mother and father, as well as the groom-to-be’s step-father, mother, sister, brother-in-law, and father.

"custom painting", "painting commission", "dave white paintings", "artist leesburg", "artist northern virginia", "artist dc", "artist virginia", "custom art"
Custom Painting – Oil on Canvas – 3 ft. x 5 ft.

I can’t believe this painting is now completed! I remember meeting my client a few months ago to talk about the idea and coming up with the initial sketches. It was definitely a challenge to align proportionally everyone in the painting, but the end result turned out beautifully.

Family Portrait Painting Progression

After much work sketching, measuring and aligning, I’ve got three of four family members onto the canvas and ready to paint!

"family portrait painting", "portrait painting", "family painting", "dave white painting"

This portrait painting is unique in that because it’s a surprise, we had to gather photos of the four family members and put them together to appear as if they had posed together. For the wife and husband, it was easy because we already had a good photo of them together. But for the children, we didn’t have a good recent photo of them with their parents.

So what’d we do? We logged into the Mom’s Facebook account and searched for good photos of her children on their profiles! I found a couple that I thought would work great, so I’ve put my math brain to work in aligning them all together and adjusting the images on the photos to enlarge proportionally onto the canvas.

The deadline for this one is Christmas, so lot’s of work left to do!