Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's Been A While

Haven't posted anything in, well, a really long time! Painting got put aside for a bit when we had our latest Bearded Collie litter last October. Baby puppies sure are great time wasters! In the best case scenario it's a couple of months of hard work and then most of the pups head off to new homes and things can get back to normal, but perfect homes have been harder to find in recent times so we still have a few babies looking for homes, which means the workload continues. And once out of 'painting mode' it's often hard to get back to it, because there always seems to be other work needing to be done. But, finally, spurred on by a few commissions, I did get back at it again, and in between those commissions I also worked on a few projects of my own just for fun.

Here is one of those 'fun' projects:
Bearded Collie Airbrushed Necktie
I bought this tie many years ago intending to paint it, but somehow never got around to it. I kept coming across it and thinking I really should do it one day, so finally I decided to just go to it! It was fun to do, though airbrushing white and light colours on a dark surface is always a bit challenging. I was pleased with how it turned out, and it looks like I'll be doing more of these in the future for interested clients.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Megan, Clumber Spaniel Puppy - a personal piece

Megan, Clumber Spaniel Puppy - Oil on Gessobord, 4.5" x 6.5"
Having quite enjoyed working on the greyscale oil painting of Frankie using just 3 colours (Gamblin's Torrit Grey, plus black and white,) I decided to do a second painting like this. Again using the same 3 colours, this time the subject was our dear sweet Clumber girl Megan at 11 weeks old. She's been gone a long time and the reference photo for this painting was actually taken back in 1987! 

Both this painting and the Frankie greyscale painting have been entered into Gamblin's Torrit Grey painting contest, the details of which are explained a bit more in the Frankie painting post. Win or lose, I'm proud of both paintings, they were fun to do and somewhat of a learning experience as well. Limiting one's palette like this and doing essentially a value study is always good practice as it forces you to really look at the lights and darks, which is so important in representing form and shape.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hayley - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel commission

Hayley Cavalier, 11" x 14" acrylic on birch panel
This piece was commissioned as a birthday gift, and when shown an assortment of potential reference photos I was drawn to the one I ultimately used right away. Cavaliers are such sweet dogs and it really showed in this particular shot. The owner concurred, as he said this was such a typical pose for her that they most often saw her this way. Having so often painted Bearded Collies it's always nice to do a different breed, and I really enjoyed painting this little girl. I'm pleased to say the owner loved the result, and it made for a wonderful birthday present!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Frankie Portrait in Oils - a personal piece

Frankie - Oil on Gessobord, 4.5" x 6.5"
It doesn't take much for an artist to find an excuse to try something new, and so when I read about a painting competition whose deadline for submissions was coming up soon I was inspired to paint this piece to enter. Gamblin Oil Paints holds the competition each year, and the rules are very simple - each painting must be essentially a value study done using only Gamblin Torrit Grey oil paint, plus black and white. Torrit grey is a unique promotional colour made available by the company each spring. It is made with pigments collected from their air filtration system - taking pigments that otherwise would simply be disposed of and recycling them back into paint. The colour is slightly different each year because of the different mix of pigments collected, but it's always some shade of grey since that's what you get when you mix all the pigments in the colour spectrum together!

Though I had heard about this competition before I had never entered. I very rarely paint in oils, though I do enjoy it, but it requires more patience and a somewhat different way of working than what is natural for me. It's definitely a bit 'out of my comfort zone' so to speak, but that can reap benefits in terms of learning too. I looked for a reference photo I thought would work well in a monochromatic painting, one which had lots of subtle value changes that would suit the 3-colour format. Frankie, being a blue Beardie, fit the bill perfectly, and this particular photo of her has always been one of my favourites. I'm pleased with how it turned out, and I quite enjoyed the process. In fact I've begun a second painting to enter in the competition. Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Frankie Agility Shirt - a personal piece

Some months ago I finally got around to doing a piece I'd been planning for some time - painting a denim jacket for myself, featuring one of my dogs, Danni, going over an agility jump. It was done primarily using an airbrush, and I was pleased with how it turned out and started thinking about what other pieces of clothing I could paint. With this summer being so hot I decided to paint another agility design on a light comfy tank top that would be perfect to wear at the hot summer trials. Since Danni had already been the subject of the denim jacket painting, it was her daughter Frankie's turn to be immortalized in paint. The photo reference for this piece was a shot taken by photographer Wendy Beard of Muddypawz Photography at a local agility trial, of Frankie going through a tire jump. Wanting Frankie to really stand out and wanting the design to remain light and loose, I opted to not include any part of the agility obstacle itself, but instead left the space blank where the tire had been, which provided a perfect spot to include Frankie's name.

Painting on a white shirt is much easier than the denim, because it takes many more layers of paint to cover the darker denim base (especially when trying to paint white fur!) Since this was a cotton t-shirt which of course is not going to be anywhere near as durable as denim, the design was intentionally kept looser and quick so I wouldn't spend so many hours on it that I would fear wearing it and getting it ripped or stained! Again like the jacket this was painted primarily using an airbrush. Clothing items are painted with my regular acrylics mixed with airbrush medium, with a base coat and top coat of fabric medium that is heat set to increase permanence and launderability. Basic washing instructions are similar to any somewhat delicate item - turn inside out, hand or machine wash in cold water, and hang to dry. Commission inquiries for shirts, jackets, or other fabric items are most welcome.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Puppy Fuzz, and Working Together - For Sale

Two new paintings to show off today, both of them smaller works and again featuring Bearded Collie puppies.

"Puppy Fuzz" - As Beardie pups get a bit past the cute 8 week old stage, the hair starts to grow and grow, and with the typical soft 'flyaway' texture of most puppy coats it tends to make them look like plush toys! Brushing them all neat and tidy lasts mere seconds as a shake of the head instantly returns them to their fuzzy puppy glory!
Puppy Fuzz - 6" x 6" Acrylic on Birch Panel
For Sale - $100

"Working Together" - Well, I'm not sure if they were actually cooperating, or both wanted the frisbee and neither was willing to let go, but it sure looks like teamwork!

Working Together - 6" x 6" Acrylic on Birch Panel
For Sale - $100
Both of these paintings are 6" x 6", and were done in acrylics on birch panel. The panels are 'gallery style' with a depth of 1 1/2". The edges are painted black, and no framing is needed. They come ready to hang.

These paintings are for sale, $100 each plus shipping.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Black on Black, Bearded Collie pup - For sale

Black on Black, Bearded Collie Pup - 11" x 14" Acrylic on Birch Panel
For Sale - $275
I liked the look of the pups against the black background in the previous painting of 4 pups running, but wanted to try a more subtle look, with a black/white Beardie pup against the solid black background. Having the pup trotting towards the viewer made the contrasting white markings really stand out while the black body coat faded into the background.

This piece measures 11" x 14" and was done in acrylics on gallery panel which has a depth of 1 1/2". The edges are painted black as well, and the piece needs no framing, it comes ready to hang.

It is for sale - $275, plus shipping.