Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Painting Lhasa Apso in Malibu, California

I've been working on a painting of a Lhasa Apso for some time in preparation for the Malibu Arts Festival. My goal was to work on the painting in my art booth as a demonstration piece. With pastels there are so many layers that go into achieving the look I give hair that it is important the piece be well underway during the demonstration so people can see what the finished areas will look like. Being right handed I work left to right generally so that the areas that have been finished are undisturbed by my hand.

The painting of the Lhasa Apso, named Andy, was a very fun piece. I was able to meet Andy in person which is not always possible. From the time he was photographed to when his portrait was started he had lightened up a bit in color. So his owner cut some hair swatches for me to match his current color. There was a swatch of hair from his lower ear, his muzzle and his chest area. The color swatches in addition to the photographs were of great assistance.

In the next few days the finished painting will be posted - so be sure and check back!

To see more of my paintings please to to my website at http://www.dawnsecord.com/
Have a great day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nick - English Setter

This portrait of Nick was painted in pastel. I had met Nick's family while traveling in Michigan. They had come to my art booth and mentioned they had a dog named Nick that they wanted painted as a gift. The next day they returned with a photograph that was amazing - a small snapshot actually. The lights and darks were a great contrast - his ears were blowing in the wind and Nick had a relaxed facial expression.

I readily agreed to use the photo as reference for the painting. My one and only concern was Nick's open mouth. The last thing I wanted the focal point to be in the painting was a red tongue smack dab in the middle of the painting. To avoid such I subdued the colors of his gums and tongue and emphasized the whites in his face.

The painting came out nicely and the recipients of the gift were more than pleased.

To see more English Setter art or Sporting Dog art - please visit my dog art gallery.

On her website Dawn has cat art, horse art, bird art, still life paintings, landscape paintings, beach paintings and people portraits.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Precious Moment - Irish Setter

"Precious Moment" is one of those magical moments of a mom and her baby. The reference photo was not staged.

The owner of the dogs was there with her camera at the right time and caught a magical moment. She has told me several times how excited she was to have been there at the right time and the right moment to take the photo. She wasn't sure which puppy was in the photo as most of the puppy was concealed by the mom's coat. The owner has a favorite puppy from that litter though so she tells herself that is the puppy in the painting!

In the photo the mom's head was pushed up into the side of the whelping box so I had to use other dogs as models to determine the angle of her head. My client confirmed that I had gotten the head correctly before I proceeded forward. For the painting I took the whelping box out of the composition and had the dogs laying on soft blue bedding. We all call Irish Setters "Red Dogs" when actually the color of their coat is more orange. Blue is a complimentary color to orange which is why I chose the background to be that color. The client who commissioned the painting was very happy with the completed piece. When she was in my studio picking up the painting she was looking at the various paintings I have on the wall - landscapes - still life - seascapes and of course the animal paintings. She asked me what I enjoyed doing most. I told her it was giving the animal paintings to the client - I never realized how much happiness my paintings could bring and that undoubtedly is my most cherished part of painting.

Limited Edition Prints of this painting are available on my website at http://www.dawnsecord.com.