Monday, June 27, 2011

Work day but kinda play day

I've been painting some beach scenes with dogs and wanted some more beach / ocean reference material. In addition, I needed some beach scenes for some future landscape paintings.

Yesterday was an absolutely perfect beach day. So, my husband and I packed up a picnic lunch, my camera and Faith (our youngest dog) and headed to the beach.

One of the beach cities we visited was actually having an art competition and had artists set up with paintings in a formal art fair environment. We had a blast. Faith was a big hit and gave lots of kisses. The beach photos I took for reference material were awesome. What a great day! Southern California - can't beat the weather!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Boston Terrier Painting

This is Sophie Rae and she lives in Atlanta. When her owner sent me the reference photo, I was so excited . Her face was very sweet and the pose in the photo was unique and really drew you into her eye.

A few changes were needed to be made when creating the portrait in comparison to the photo. (I always tell people I don't recreate your photo. Your photo is simply reference material to be used in creating the painting.)

Her left ear needed to be downplayed since the perspective in the photo was exaggerated. She had pulled her right lip up which affected the front of her mouth and a part of her left side of her mouth. In the painting there are more highlights in her eye than the photo shows. That is the fun part of painting - the artist makes the rules and creates what works. There are no limits other than our imagination.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Labrador Retriever Painting - Reference Photo

This is Buzz, a yellow labrador retriever. He had been a dog in rescue and his foster parents found they couldn't part with him. We took Buzz to a dog beach in Southern California so I could take reference photos. There is so much energy and fun to this photo, Collectively, his owners and I thought this would be the perfect photo to use as reference for his portrait. There are a few changes that would need to be made. His painting would not have his collar on. There is a funny roll on his shoulder that I would not include in the painting and most importantly, his owner wanted to see more of his right rear leg. We were throwing a doggie floatation toy around on the beach which is what he is looking at.

Labrador Retriever Painting in Process

The painting is well underway. Notice I've brought the right rear leg back so it is more visible in the painting compared to the photograph. The dog has been painted and I've added a tennis ball for fun. The dog's photo had the dog looking at a toy that had been tossed into the surf. As a dog owner, one of the favorite toys of my dogs is a tennis ball. The addition of the ball would answer the viewer's question - what is the dog looking at. A tennis ball floats and is commonly used as a toy for dogs playing in the water. In the past, when painting in pastel, I worked from left to right. Lately I've changed that direction. I like to get my subject finished before the background is started. Using a colored surface as my under-painting, this method is bringing me more in line with my oil paintings.

Labrador Painting in Process

The base coat for the water has been painted. Next, I've started adding a wave to lead the viewer's eye directly to the dog. To get a straight horizon line I mark it off with a piece of acid free artist's tape. The tape will be removed to put the sky. The edge of the horizon will be softened between the water and the water. This will be accomplished by using a harder brand of pastels and glazing across the surface of the painting.

Labrador Painting in Process

The painting of Buzz is coming along. The water is almost finished. I'll add some highlights and darks/lights on the entire painting once all the different areas are finished. That is my favorite part - standing back and seeing where the final changes are needed. At this point I return to my really hard pastels and drag them across the areas that need to be softened. The more softer brands of pastel are used to bring the lightest lights to the water and clouds.

Labrador Portrait Finished

Here is the final painting of Buzz. Hope you like it. Thank you to the Buzz's parents for having me paint him. He is a sweetie!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Irish Setter Club of Southern California Specialty

Our dog club (Irish Setter Club of Southern California) had its 100th Specialty Show this past weekend on June 4, 2011. It was a beautiful day in a very nice park. Our puppy, Faith (Jamond Wings of Glory at Rendition), won Best in Sweepstakes under judge Dr. Gary Brown, DVM. We were thrilled. Here are some pictures my husband took ringside. Thanks Rich!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Borzoi International Summer 2011

Borzoi International Summer 2011
My work is on the cover of "Borzoi International" an on line publication. In addition to being on the cover, my work is included in a six page feature story within the magazine. Thank you to Borzoi International for featuring my work!