Portraits to Comfort, Encourage and Inspire


Hi, I’m Matt Philleo. Since 1991, I have been creating detailed, realistic pencil drawings and acrylic paintings on commission and exhibition.

My goal is, through beautiful and emotive art, to bring comfort, encouragement, and inspiration, especially to the discouraged and brokenhearted, so they can experience true and lasting peace.

Please contact me if you have any questions and visit my blog posts to see my most current work. If you’d like to be added to my personal and confidential email list, sign up right here.

To learn more about my custom portraits, visit TraditionStudio.com, my official commissioned artwork page

Thanks for visiting!


14″ x 17″

Pencil on Paper


  • Falling Leaves Art Studio Tour, September 30 and October 1, 10am-6pm–a backroads tour through Augusta, Fall Creek, and Fairchild, WI. I will be exhibiting original paintings and prints.
  • Manyfires Art Fair, October 7 10am-4pm–A lively art show at the Sundby’s country studio in Fall Creek, WI. I will be doing live portrait sketches, as part of the entertainment, for free!
  • Learn How to Paint in Acrylic, Winter Session, dates TBA: This course will benefit the beginner and advanced artist alike in learning how to paint incredibly realistic portraits of people you know, from photo and from life.


Here’s the Latest From My Blog…

New Painting in Progress: “Come as Children”

New Painting in Progress: “Come as Children”

Here is a new painting in progress–a 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas. This will be a book cover for a compilation of Charles Spurgeon’s devotionals for children, called “Come Ye Children.” Based off this photo I took of my two children when we were hiking in northern Wisconsin. Reference Photo In Progress Painting I start off very faint, just blocking in the colors with glazes. I mix about 90% clear acrylic medium to about 10% paint and just block in the composition, suggesting where the future colors will go. Here is my palette… Normally, I use burnt sienna, but to challenge myself and also to enhance the color harmony within the painting, I omitted it.     Video Demonstration   The first layers consisted of raw sienna, yellow ochre, phthalo blue and indian yellow for the background, and then for the posts: raw umber dark, ultramarine blue and napthol crimson. I blocked in the blue jeans with phthalo blue, and my daughter’s pants with napthol crimson. I’ll be posting more on this and show you the process of how the painting develops. Have a blessed day,   Share Your Thoughts! If you have any comments or questions about what I wrote, please leave me your feedback below! I will personally get back to you. Can you help me spread the word? Please share this post with your family and friends by using the social media links on the side or below. Thank you!... read more
[Light Arises in the Darkness] Chapter 2, Part 1: Acknowledging Your Suffering

[Light Arises in the Darkness] Chapter 2, Part 1: Acknowledging Your Suffering

Acknowledging your suffering is the first step to being healed of the pain. It’s amazing, though, how often we want to skip this step. That’s what I’m going to talk about in today’s post… In my last post, I shared with you the last part of the first chapter for my book I’m currently writing, Light Arises in the Darkness: How to Go Through Suffering and Experience Incredible Joy. Again, I plan on making this a full-length printed book with illustrations, and I want to share it here with you first.   “Faith to Rise” 16 x 20, acrylic on canvas by Matt Philleo   In the previous post, we discussed “What is the Purpose of Suffering?”Today, I’m going to talk about why it is so important to acknowledge your suffering, and how that can pave the way for you to “stop the bleeding” and experience a true sense of peace and joy. I’m not talking about a cliche phrase on a greeting card. I’m talking about something real and something deep. Something lasting. Even if this kind of peace and joy dissipates, you’ll have a well that you can always run to and refill.   I invite you to become a part of my Reader’s Review Group and I’ll let you know whenever I have a new section on the book written. Also, you will receive a discount on the actual book when it’s published. Click here and Join today! Light Arises in the Darkness How to Go Through Suffering and Experience Incredible Joy Copyright 2017 by Matt Philleo. All rights reserved. (To help you navigate through the book. I’ll be including links below to various... read more

"I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands."

Inscribed6a 500px

"Inscribed," Pencil on Paper, by Matt Philleo

One day, when I was discouraged I read a verse in the Bible, in Isaiah, 49:15-16, where it says, "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands." This verse brought such encouragement, that I created this original work of art to share the incredible love of God with others, including you!

Get a free 8 x 10 copy of this drawing that you can use to print, share, or as wallpaper!

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