Creating art from photos

I recently received a commission from a beautiful, young model on Model Mayhem, Veronika Leo. She wanted me to draw a sultry pinup of her, based on one of her photos. After much deliberation, we decided on the photo below as a reference.

The image was specifically chosen by Veronica. We did go through several of them, but she liked this one because of her sultry expression. When she realized that I could “create” lingerie out of a bikini, so to speak, that settled it.

Model: Veronika Leo

Veronica asked me to transform the original photo into “A pinup type of look… with lingerie… very sensual,” as a special gift for her boyfriend. She already had lingerie pictures in her portfolio, but I wanted something a little bit different. So, after I laid out the drawing from the original reference, I started to sketch in some of the details and mulled over what type of lingerie I could create.

Model: Veronika Leo; Artist: Vincent Wolff

The trickiest part of smaller portraits like this (14 inches x 17 inches) is getting the drawing to look like the subject, not just the photo reference. I usually hang different views of the model around my drawing board, to remind me what she looks like. At this point I was working to get a lot of detail in on Veronica’s face, before moving my way down. I knew she’d be wearing thigh high stockings, I just wasn’t sure about the actual lingerie outfit.

The cut off feet have been a point of contention. Some people don’t like it, but I wanted to get as much into the 14×17 format as possible. It’s isn’t easy drawing half a foot, but I used a great MM pinup model as a reference and that was invaluable. It gave me a perspective of the shoe and stockings, so I could fill in details that weren’t in the original photo.

Model: Veronika Leo; Artist: Vincent Wolff

I played around with the lingerie a few ways, and kind of organically came up with an outfit that I thought worked. Then it was just a lot of shading, detailing, etc., before I finished up.

Model: Veronika Leo; Artist: Vincent Wolff

Veronica was such an inspiration for me to draw. She’s a beautiful young lady, and very expressive in her poses. Her input was invaluable, and she was very excited about the art when she picked it up. We hope to work together on something again very soon.

Vincent Wolff

Vincent Wolff is a fine artist who, while experienced in many types of art and medium, specializes in the female figure. As a traditional artist, he creates most of his artwork with graphite, colored pencil, or acrylic paint. His website is

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