Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hannah WIP and Wilds follow-up

Here is the current WIP for Hannah, a choclate lab. There is a little more room at the top than I was able to scan. I should finish this one today.

I did take a break Sunday and Monday and went to the Wilds,a wildlife preserve, about 50 miles from where I live, menitioned in an earlier post. Below are some of the pictures I took. I have a few nice ones, but not as many as I would like. I will post some of the others in the future.

We went for an overnight -- was nice to get away from the routine, eat some good food and visit with a friend.

On the way to the Wilds, I took a not so long side trip to visit the Leslie Cope Gallery in Roseville, Ohio. A friend of mine has some of his originals and turned me on to his work. Sadly there is not much on the net or in the literature about him. I hope to go back to this gallery, which his widow runs sometime soon as I did not see it all with the time we had. His last painting in progress was on the easel in his studio there. He is know for his farm scenes and horses, primarily, though he also did coastal scenes and murals. He was a codesigner for McCoy pottery. Roseville and the surrounding towns were once a thriving pottery center. I do not know enough about him, but I hope to find out more in the future. He was quite prolific, I really like his animals, of course, and admire his passion. I do feel fortunate to be able to visist his studio and gallery.

Lastly, I not sure I like this new blog design, I was trying to correct where the gadges (about me, links, blogrool, etc.) show up. I can only view them at the bottom of the page now, but want them at the side. Where do they show up when you look at the page? I know how I am supposed to fix this in layout, but was not working for me, so I go sidetracked in design and ended up with this one for now.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pet Portraits finished and WIP

Here is Abbey finished. As I was struggling so much with making up poses, I have decided to take existing photos, though missing detail when enlarged and just make a few modifications. I have finished Cleo using the photo below. There is a tad more definition in the face than I could get with my scanner.

Here is a sketch of Hannah, whom I hope to work on today quite a bit. I think using these photos and a sitting pose helps to have a little more head area to work on, which I like.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Abbey, WIP 2

This is as far as I got with Abbey, yesterday. I know it does not look like much, but it takes alot of layering to get that black fur. I may refine her nose and bridge of her nose more. I usually like to do the background at the same time, but since I scrapped the first one with alot of background time in it, I just concentrated on the dog first in this one. I will try to do the background the same as I did with Missey so that they are compatable. I did spend some time reviewing the reference photos for the other dogs, yesterday, also. Did alot of editing in my photo programs. And though they will be a little bigger than I orignally planned, I am going to use some existing reference photos more completely than I had originally planned to do the other three. I would prefer to do them a little larger than these first two and I just don't have the time to struggle with what I can't see. I am afraid that my previous sketches are just not detailed enough. I was getting hung up on trying to make the poses "more sophisticated" and all similiar in size.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Missy Portrait Finished, Abbey WIP

Above is the photo of Missy and the finished 9x12, colored pencil portrait. Below is Abbey, WiP. This is the second one I have started with her. I did choose to do her next because I find blac dogs to be the most difficult, also, she has the least clear reference photos. The first one was a cross between a cartoon character and early American Folk Art (which I like, but did not want for her portrait!) I had a couple of photo sessions with another dog as well as new sketches before I started the second one. I am more pleased with it. Abbey is pictured far right below. I also am doing the left two dogs as well as a golden retriever.

The commission calls for dogs being posed in certain ways. All the pictures are going to hang in the same room, so I am thinking of doing the grass and sky pretty much the same for background, though I wish I could go simpler than that, I feel with these full body portraits it would not work out for me to try to do a monotone background. I am trying to balnce wich way the dogs are facing in accrordance with how many portraits there are, i.e. so many facing to the left and so many facing to the right. I like to do straight on of the head, but am going with the best reference shots for the most part.

Feeling at turns, frustrated, scared, happy, stupid, lucky. Time to get to work, I will post what I have gotten done early tomorrow morning.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Longhorns and Haflingers and Travel Dreams, Oh My

These are some reference photos I took on my travels to deliver Cracker's portrait. I am not forgetting to take my camera as much now, like I used to, whenever I drive someplace. I will show you some more in future posts. Saw the babies in the Haflinger herd from the road, had a nice chat with owner after asking permission to come on the propertay to take some photos. I just stopped the car on the sider of the road and walked along a fence to take the longhorn photo.

A few weeks ago I saw this artist's blog with writings about the workshop she was conducting in France. I love her descriptions of the food they ate. I dream of taking a trip to France and eating and visiting the art muesems. I also dream about taking Rosetta Stone French lessons before I go (a big pile of pennies). This artist, Margaret Dyer is doing the workshop again next year. I am trying to save my pennies.
I am going with a friend to a nearby wildlife preserve for an overnight stay in the yurts that were recently opened for overnight stays there. The preserve is called The Wilds. It was built on reclaimed coal strip mine land (I remember the horrible devastation strip mining did all around where I grew up). While I was at The Wilds site, I saw that a wildlife artist, A.E. London, was doing a two day workshop at The Wilds (I would like to do that, too, but may opt to not get rid of more pennies after spending some to go on the overnight with my friend). Her promotional video, filmed at The Wilds, is great, check it out!

I am busy working on my future pet portrait sketches. I had one discouraging day -- thinking there was just too much to "make-up" and maybe I should not have taken this on, but with doubled effort, all is going well now.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Portrait of Cracker

Here is the delivered portrait of Cracker. I had the black and white for the pose in this one and the snapshot for color. I did the portrait, called the client for next day delivery, decided it was horrible and spent most of the night and part of the next day redoing it. It is not as easy to see detail in the reference photos as I initially thought it was. Can you say pressure? I am very happy (and relieved) that he liked it very much. This dog was his wife's dog when she was a child, he is giving it to her today for her birthday -- I hope she likes it. I was exhausted the next day and did not move from the couch much. Since then I have caught up on housework and chores, as well as making a run to go out to dinner with my mom.
I will work daily, starting tomorrow on the rest of the portraits, they will be from snapshots, but the desired poses need to be fabricated. I will be doing alot of sketches first. I iniatilly did Cracker with an outdoor background, but abandoned that. The portraits will all be hanging in the same room, so need to think a bit about their compatibility also. The contract is for plain backgrounds. I am doing these on colorfix paper instead of the hardboard. That, as well as going back to a small size,12x9, have been challenging as well.
I am very happy to have such a huge commission during a fairly uncommitted month. These are all due before August 14. My next fair is
Auguast 7&8.


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