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!