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Award-winning watercolor and oil portrait artist Peggi Habets is more than capable of simply capturing the likeness of the person she is painting. . . but it is her personal style and artistic ideas that make each piece pop.

Take a look at these next three paintings, and notice all the emotional messages that are conveyed through them. Peggi lets the personality and characteristics of her subjects guide her creative decisions regarding color, brushstroke and composition, in turn setting the distinct tone and feeling for each subject.

For example, as he stares wistfully out the window, I find myself gripped with curiosity as I wonder what the man in Last Visit might be thinking.

Last Visit[1]

His steel-blue stare is hard and focused, as if remembering a bittersweet moment from years ago, yet his stance is relaxed and perhaps even a bit resigned. Life experiences are etched forever on his face through every wrinkle and crease. Tight-lipped, he appears to be trapped within a distant memory.

In contrast, the woman pictured in The Wedding Gloves, below, positively glows with happiness.

the wedding gloves

The background of this painting intrigues me, since it seems to overlap the foreground of this scene with dark, watered-down smudges. Faint diagonal lines even give the illusion of a chain-link fence. . . yet the woman’s face shines through this slight obstruction, and the beautiful details seen on her one, pristine, white wedding glove happily celebrates her innocence and virginity.

Last but not least, the edgy composition and bright, unexpected colors in Mikal are truly representative of Mikal’s facial expression and questioning attitude.


The teals, purples and reds in those dreadlocks speak volumes of a personality that is surely adventurous, outspoken and full of zest. I admire that Peggi chose to keep the background clean and white—an artistic decision that really makes Mikal the center of attention.

To view more of Peggi’s beautifully representative portraits of people and pets of all ages, please visit her website.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

More than 20 years ago, Colorado artist Martha Kisling fell in love with the exciting and spontaneous nature of watercolor.

A true believer in developing one’s own creative expression, Martha has taught classes and workshops for more than 12 years and also helps coordinate the Alzheimer’s Association Memories in the Making. . . read more

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