Friday, September 30, 2011

Irish Setter Pastel Painting

This is an original pastel painting of Autumn, Ch. Summit Rise Thyme in a Bottle, CD.

Autumn's owners had sent a number of photos of Autumn for the portrait. There just wasn't the perfect photo. Then, all of a sudden, there were two photos that were just great. The perspectives were correct, the expression of the dog was soft, there were some nice highlights and shadows, the reference material was ideal. We all agreed which photo would be the primary reference pose and the painting was started. In the two photos shown above, the photos were taken in such a way that I couldn't see the length of Autumn's ears. Fortunately, there were other reference photos that gave me the details that were missing from the primary photos.

I've added some green highlights through out the portrait ( such as in the coat, the nose, the eyes and eye lids) to create a color harmony with the background. I always emphasis to my collectors, it is important to realize my goal is not to simply copy a photo. That would be too easy. My goal is to create an original painting based on the likeness of a given animal. I make changes in lights, in darks, in detail around the facial features such as the eyes, nose and mouth. Part of Autumn's bottom lip showed in the reference photo. That was not needed in the painting. There are a number of reflections in both eyes that are not in the photos. There are colors in the nose that are not in the photos. Photos are simply a road map to keep me on track so my paintings capture the likeness of a specific subject. The creativity starts with the photo but ends with my imagination.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Black Dog Oil Painting photo 3

This painting is coming along. The 2' x 3' canvas is fun to work on. It is so much fun to paint the larger than life oils.

Once the black paint (that reinforced the initial sketch) had dried a layer of semi-translucent burnt sienna was put all over the entire canvas.

The white hair was laid in first as the black hair will eventually be layered over that. Slow process with drying time - but is coming along nicely.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Autumn Splendor

This is the first painting in my newest series, the Seasons Series. It is the "fall" season. There were several background photos used for the painting taken at different times in the year.

For the painting to really have the feel of fall and for color harmony in the painting, a great deal of warm reds and yellows were incorporated into the background that were not in the reference photos.

The model for this painting I had met several times over the years and is a Best In Show winner. When in Wisconsin a few years ago his owner had commissioned me to paint his portrait. During the photo session, something in the pine trees caught his attention and he swung his head around to look at the distraction. One thing led to another and this painting, Autumn Splendor came to be. Prints are for sale on my website at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BEST IN SHOW - Great Dane Painting

"A Great Moment" was awarded BEST IN SHOW at the Irving Art Association 2011 3rd National Unconditional Love Juried Pet Show. The exhibit runs through September 2011.

Prints of the painting are available on my website at

Thanks for taking a peek!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Black Dog Oil Painting in Process

Here is the painting in process. I've used black oil paint to block in my sketch before I do the complete underpainting. Now to wait for the black paint to dry......

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Large Oil Painting's Beginning Sketch

This sketch was done a number of weeks ago. I sat down on my studio floor with the photo on my lap top and created the sketch. This is the beginning of a two foot x three foot oil painting for a commercial account. The dog looks to be an Akita. Can't wait to get my brushes out!