Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Welcome to our blog. Norm and I our both professional designers and we have talked about what our second journey in life would be, that is what is our passion. We came up with yourpreciousportraits.com. Norm is a graphic designer whose love is photography and I am a designer, and both of us have been in the corporate world designing for most of our careers.

As retirement is around the corner for both of us and the corporate world has become a more harsh environment to work in, the question of what would we like to do tugged on our brain cells. We didn't want to be couch potatoes on a fixed income. But what? We still wanted to work, but at our age be our own bosses. But what would two designers do who designed greeting cards for most of there lives? Certainly not greeting cards!

Norman who had a talent of doing portraits while at Cooper School of Art in Cleveland years ago, started to dabble in a software called Coral Painter. This software is a digital brush for painters and illustrators alike. You still have to have the skills of an illustrator but now the wonders of what digital software can offer can make illustrating even more fun without the fumes of turpentine and a mess to clean up.

When Norm took a digital photo of his youngest son, Josh, he decided it would be a good subject for a digital painting. Josh's painting became an inspiration that would lead us to the idea of yourpreciousportraits.com.

Here is the photo Norm took of Josh at the breakfast table when trying out his new digital camera.

I told Norman how I loved his picture and to make it into a painting. He used the picture as a template and painted Josh's portrait in Coral Painter. I call this "The Dreamer" because Josh was so lost in thought at that moment.

It was then we thought wouldn't it be fun to do this for other people so they could have their pictures transform into paintings!

Your pictures of family, friends, lovers, pets, favorite places, or some other image that you hold as precious and have them transformed into a digital paintings to hang on a wall at home or in the office. Better yet as a gift especially to those that are hard to buy for.

A mother's portrait that could be reproduced for all children, not one.

A portrait of one's bridal bouquet as a beautiful floral painting to hang on the wall long after the beautiful blossoms withered and faded away.

Bridal portraits, pet portraits, children's portraits, house portraits, portraits of special people and places, the list goes on. Custom painted portraits that carry much more warmth than a photograph and cost much less those painted on canvas.

That is our idea.

Custom to your needs and with your permission featured online for others to see.

For example Angela, one of the marketing people I worked with had taken a trip to Ireland with her husband. She had seen Norm's work and thought to have to have one of her pictures immortalized as a painting to hang in their living room. As we started and talked about the idea we realized she wanted the painting to fit into her color scheme so we asked her to provide us with swatches.

Here is Angela's photo that she gave us to work with.

The sky was overcast and blown out, so we improvised and added a new sky. This is what Angela's photo looks like transformed as a painting.

This one is called Angela's Ireland

Angel now had her photo transformed into a painting to hang in her living room, and better yet match her color scheme, and to keep her memories of her trip to Ireland as hers to treasure.

We hope to make many new friends and paintings for people to treasure and to post their stories and pictures on blog and website.


Val and Norman Drake