It all started back in 1991 at age 14, when my mom’s friend asked me to do a drawing of her friend who had passed away and paid me for it. Backing up just a bit, shortly before that I had just learned how to draw realistically from a photo. I had drawn OK up until that point, but suddenly, faithfully reproducing the details of a photograph “clicked” for me. Here is that commissioned portrait, a montage of several photos put together into one cohesive drawing.
One of my first realistic drawings was of one of my favorite bands, Metallica. I did two of them, one of the whole band, and then one of the lead guitarist, James Hetfield. I don’t have that first drawing, but here is the second one–pencil on paper.
While doing that first drawing of Metallica, I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I don’t think I took a break for hours. My eyes were glued to the paper, close in so I could capture all the detail. I came downstairs after several hours of working. My pulled me aside and asked me, “Matt I need to talk to you. Are you, umm…on drugs?”
“Mom, you know me better than that!”
“Well, your eyes are all dilated.”
I then explained how I was drawing for hours (probably with poor lighting) and we both got a little laugh out of it.
But those realistic drawings, if I remember correctly, is what she showed to her friend, and that spurred on the first commission. I had a couple more from teachers in high school and one of my brother’s coworkers. Mostly by word of mouth, I was given and completed several commissions before graduating. This is what I wanted to do when I grew up.
Since then, I have done hundreds of portraits over the years, for folks to give to their loved ones on many different occasions. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Christmas, to commemorate lost loved ones, Mother’s Day, and “just because.” Here’s a few of my favorites:
To celebrate 25 years of doing commissioned art, all commissions will be 25% off until March 25th!
If you are looking at having a portrait done (Mother’s Day is coming up soon :)) this would be a great time to get your order in. For more information on my portraits, please visit my official commissioned artwork site, www.traditionstudio.com or contact me.
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"I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands."
"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!