Sunday, December 30, 2007

Finally - the Corgi

This is the Corgi I talked about all of early December.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Elston's portrait is finished!

Finished at last. To finish I took out some of the shadows on the furthest away leg and some of the body to make sure although there are shadows there, not too dark, because the dog's fur is very white.

Also, rubbed out the white inside the ear of the right side of the page, as it was standing out too bright.

I thought the white strip of back was too severe so I rounded it a little bit - also because it wasn't showing in the photo and I needed to do what I imagined looked correct.

I added details to the grass in the foreground, bits of purple (not PURPLE) just subtly to add interest, not something big that stands out.

Also some more value (lights and darks) to the grass so balance out the lights and darks in the dog and to add interest.

I covered the white foot somewhat because I didn't have a clear photo of one to work from, but also to make the grass more realistic.

In most areas I blended a lot for realism (Brian and his step mom DO want it to look like Elston) but in other areas left pure strokes of pastel to add punch. It is art, afterall, and not a photo so it needs some drama and the artists personality showing through.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Brian and your step mom, and I do hope this portrait does this sweet looking dog justice!

it's coming together

It's starting to look more complete. I put all of the basic color in the background and did some more blending of shadows. Oh, and I made the foot bigger, which makes me feel much better!


Now I've added another green and blended the background and the left side of the page, the body. I used an old wash cloth to blend the green because it's a big area and I used a tortillon (paper blending stub) to do the details.

Oh, I should also point out the two teeny dots of coffee-colored pastel in the bottom right of the page. Well, actually it's not coffee-colored pastel, it's coffee. You see, my daughter Liz bought me some Ethiopian coffee for Christmas and some cute, little esspresso cups to drink it from. So, anyone who knows me knows I usually drink coffee or tea while I work. It's my very personal touch added to the art - and I'm not a bit worried that I can't cover it up. This is high quality Mattson paper (you can buy it at Dick Blicks) and high quality pastels - unisons - so, no problem, you'll see. Maybe I shouldn't admit this but I once spilled a fair amount of hot chocolate on a pastel I was just starting (thank goodness I hadn't gotten far) and was able to cover it right up because of the supplies I use. So, maybe you're thinking I would have learned by now? Well, it's only two tiny drops. : )

the foot

Since I don't have a photo of Elston's foot I got a book on different breeds of dogs and looked at what a Boxers foot looks like. I didn't have one in this position, but I think I did ok. Although I plan to make it slightly bigger. Also, I'm adding some shadows to the white part of the body and the furthest away leg.

started background

I think technically I should have started the background as I worked my way down, but this is working ok. I finished the snout area - using the pinkish black colors in the photo from when Elston was young. Now I'm just sketching in the basic colors of the body and grass.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

whole head forming

I feel pretty good that the whole head is almost done... doing the side of the body and legs will be tricky, but I'll get that posted as soon as I finish.

more than half way done!

Ok, now I'm more than half way done, but still a ways to go.

I can see!

Yay - now the dog has eyes! It's tricky getting in that highlight in the eyes. It seems in photos it can be anywhere and look ok, but in my artwork it always looks best if the reflection is in the exact same part of each eye.

adding the black

and defining the eyes.

color difference

The color difference is amazing between the two photos. So, since I'm going with the younger photo I need to make around the eyes very black.

blocks of color

Here you can see that the blocks of color I put in then get blended together to create a more realistic look.

working top to bottom

With most pieces I work the whole page little by little and build it up - but in pastels - especially detailed ones, like pet portraits, I work top to bottom. You see, they are MESSY and it helps me work my way down so that I don't smear it up.

a little more dog...

This is a very sweet looking dog and I want to do a great job. It's especially challenging though because I'm working from two photos that are very different from each other. One pose when Elston was older and the coloring from when Elston was very young. The lighting and light sources are also very different so I'm going with the light source of the 'pose' picture.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I am working on a pet portrait and wanted to post my progress for Brian. I hope you and your step-mom enjoy seeing it come together little by little.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Old Courthouse show this weekend!

Hey - THIS weekend come to the Old Courthouse on the Woodstock square for a great art show with several artists including me! There will be art for your walls, jewelry, pottery, note cards and more. Get some one-of-a-kind gifts.

Friday Dec 14: 11-7pm
Saturday Dec 15: 11-7pm
Sunday Dec 16: 1-5pm

Go to my site for more info or to email me:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

rust flowers

hand-drawn fabric

red and gold

new earrings

Well, my daughter Helen leaving a bunch of her stuff (bags of fabric scraps specifically) here after she moved out turned out to be a good thing late last night. I couldn't sleep thinking about an idea I wanted to try using fabric on earrings. So, I stayed up and made about 30 pairs. It was so much fun! It's all I want to do today (of course I have to now come up with some packaging!) but I'm teaching classes in my studio this week Monday and Tuesday so at some point today I need to clean up. I'll post a few more pairs soon.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thank you!

Thank you to all of my friends and students who came to my home yesterday and brought dog and cat treats and toys. I will get them out to a shelter sometime very soon and although the animals are homeless I'm sure the gifts will be appreciated and make their lives better in some small way.


Sunday, December 2, 2007


Does anyone know of a place to buy reasonably priced, but good quality frames? Metal or wood?

I've found the best place to get mattes (if you're buying a large quantity) is