Dorian Vallejo is a portrait painter based in New Jersey. Though he sometimes sets his portraits in the more traditional toned or textured plain background, he often creates a kind of portrait that I particularly enjoy, with the subjects in background settings that are in some way relevant to the their personality.
In particular, his portraits in landscape settings are nicely evocative of time and place, giving the portrait a context that would be otherwise missing from a plain background.
His website includes a range of his portrait approaches, as well as a variety of subjects, from children to families to more formal professional settings.
There is also a selection of Sketches. These range from sketches in pencil and charcoal to more finished drawings to oil sketches. The oil sketches are much more free and informal than the finished paintings, and have a very different appeal.
There is also a selection he titles “Intimate Portraits“. These, as well as related life drawings, are done in very loose, gestural applications of mixed media (images above, bottom four).
A number of the life drawings have been collected in a book: Drawings: Inspired by Life, and there is a separate website devoted to them. This site has a more extensive selection, and though they are displayed somewhat small, they are in a zoomable interface.
Vallejo is the son of renowned fantasy artist and illustrator Boris Vallejo. He studied illustration at Parsons and the School of Visual Arts in New York and traveled and studied in Europe before devoting his attention to portraiture.
[Suggestion courtesy of Kelly Houghton]
[Note: some of the drawings on the "Drawings from Life" site could be considered NSFW.]