Missy H. Dunaway

Welcome! I'm an American painter currently working in Istanbul, Turkey. I paint many things, but this blog largely features my "Book of Paintings."

A painting of my favorite bridge, Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge. This chameleon-like structure changes colors several times throughout the night. Text reads, "my favorite bridge, in its favorite mood."

A painting of my favorite bridge, Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge. This chameleon-like structure changes colors several times throughout the night. Text reads, "my favorite bridge, in its favorite mood."

Today I did things a little differently. I used my thumb nail to scrape off a top layer of paint, and decided to finish the page in a loose, painterly style. Underworked paintings can have a fresh, energetic feel that I really love. This painting took about two and a half hours with one short break.

Anonymous asked: What kind of journals do you use?

Moleskine Sketchbook - Large. It’s popular for very good reason, I highly recommend it.

Tiny text at top reads: “Is this contentment, or am I just numb?”

Delays in Studio

Hi Tumblr,

I have a few unfinished paintings I want to work on, but they may be put on a hold for several days. I’m preparing to move to Cappadocia, so I’ve been searching for a subleaser and packing up my apartment. Thank you for your patience while I take a brief hiatus from studio…

Getting started on a new painting of Taksim Square on a wet, rainy day. 
This ripped centerfold occurred accidentally when the book was closed  with wet paint and opened again after it dried completely. Wet paint occasionally seeps through the binding and dapples other pages, including earlier pages with finished paintings. Sometimes it is a little heartbreaking, and other times it adds something beautiful.
Either way, accidents such as these come with the territory of painting in a book, and I’ve learned to accept the results, good or bad.


I joined Instagram today! If you’d like a better look into my daily life as a traveling artist, find me at missydunaway, or by clicking the “Instagram” link in the header above. Thanks!

This is my start from yesterday, which I’m resuming tonight. I really don’t know if I like where it’s going. I’ll keep at it for a little while longer, but there’s a good chance it will end up underneath something new. 

Ana Meryem’s Wishing Wall in Selcuk, Turkey. Wishes and prayers are cleared every three months, then filled again. 

"Staring out my window again. At night you can’t see stars. Twitter is gone, and so is YouTube. Istanbul gets darker by the day."Twitter is thankfully back again, so I am posting this a little late. But this is how it felt two weeks ago.

This week I visited Selcuk, Sirince and Ephesus. In Selcuk, I visited a weaving school where I observed silk spinning, wool spinning, and knotted pile carpet weaving. Pile carpets are made by tying colored strands of wool or silk in knots (the “warp”) around vertical strands (the “weft”) fixed to a wooden loom.

I had lucky timing for this visit, because hundreds of swallows had just arrived from South Africa and were darting around the workshop. Above are two small swallows sitting atop raw silk. Raw silk looks and feels just like horse hair.

I have only one month and one week left in this studio before moving to Cappadocia. I’m enjoying it while it lasts by painting tonight’s sunset view.

As always, I start the painting simply with only three or four color statements. Colors are influenced by their relationships to nearby colors, so it’s important for me to see them all together from the very beginning. Then I reevaluate the colors, seek out subtler notes, and slowly introduce compositional elements and refine the drawing.

*Real time updating! Might post a fourth photo before the light’s gone.

**There you have it, a fourth process photo updated in real time. I only photograph my artwork in natural light, which is almost gone now, so this will be the last. Tomorrow morning I jet-set to Ephesus for two days, so I won’t be able to photograph and post the finished painting until Wednesday or Thursday. In the interim, I’ll share a good travel photo. Visiting a gladiator graveyard is on my agenda for Tuesday…

Flashback from 2012

Anonymous asked: HI honey! I was wondering, do you ever paint faces? If you do would you post those paintings/drawings?

Hello! You might not have expected it, but this is a very complicated question. You see, I only painted portraits for years. Between college semesters, I was a student in a small group of Impressionist portrait painters in Provincetown, Massachusetts. We’d spend seven hours a day painting a live model on the beach, and occasionally I’d stay late to draw the skull. Winters were spent in drawing and sculpture workshops that focused on classical study of anatomy.

After college I decided to pursue my individual style, and leave portraits behind for a while. After all those years as a student of Impressionism and portraiture, a love of Impressionist color theory is what remained, and my work continues to focus on light and color. I don’t draw faces or figures nearly enough anymore, and I should. The figure exhibits form, color, value, balance, weight, mass, volume, movement and expression. If you can draw people, you can draw anything. 

Portrait of a Sioux chief for a college assignment, circa 2008:


Portrait of a live model on the beach in Provincetown, from 2008 as well.