Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pet Portrait Swap

Check out the Annual Pet Portrait Swap at EBSQ. I swapped with a few very talented artists this year. The pets I created portraits for are Zelda, Katie, Dori and Bauer
This was my first year to participate and I had a blast. I can't wait to see the works these terrific artists created of my Scottie pack. Check out Ajax (artist Susan Buenger), Pixel ( artist Tiffany Matthews), and Big Tommy & Ajax ( artist Angela Gue).





Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New Design Project

Well yesterday was my day off and I got 2 clients updated, one large print in the mail and half a dozen e-mails answered. So much for my Sunday - Monday weekend. I should not complain though since I have the best job and the best clients on earth. I am very excited that little Tabasco's 2nd portrait has been finalized and will ship soon. He is the chihuahua shown above.

Today I have been working on a new design project for Team Husar Photography. I am doing a little straight photoshop work for this wildlife photography company. The project is for holiday cards and that reminds me I need to start shooting my pups and planning out my own holiday card soon. If you have time check out Team Husar's site. This husband and wife team belong to Bear the Golden retriever I worked on this last year. They shoot a wide variety of critters.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Photo Hosting Sites

There are tons of terrific photo hosting sites on the web. I recently tried out and Flickr. I really liked both sites. Photobucket offers groovy tools for those of us that are blogging, or playing around with on-line posting communities. In a short 10 minute time span I was able to upload photos of Big Tommy playing with his ball and then turn that into a slideshow with easy copy & paste code for this blog. Of course I have Dreamweaver and Flash and so I probably could have done the same thing with good old fashion design software tools, but it would have taken me a lot longer.

Flickr is all about community and photo tags. Their search engine tag system allows people to search and find any photo subject you can imagine. Check out my own personal photos at Flickr. At Flickr you can also join photo groups with your common interest. I joined the Scottish Terrier group of course.

A couple of other popular photo host sites that I have not tried include:

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Taking good Pet Photos

Almost every portrait artist carving out a space on the web has a page dedicated to taking good pet photos because the better our clients are at capturing their pet the easier it will be for us to translate that into great art. Our own page at Art Paw has some tips that are specific for our needs, but it is over due for a revamp. I decided to scour the web and find out what others are saying about fetching the best shot, or shall we say snapping a fetching shot.

Celebrity photographer Chris Ameruoso says take lots of photos and be bold.

Check out the New York Institute of Photography's tips. They suggest you get inside your pet's brain.

Michael Russell has some good advice and I love his suggestion to exercise your dog before a photo shoot. has a really great education page for kids on taking digital photos of pets and then playing with them in Photoshop elements to create a collage. I love this satement: " Taking pictures of a favorite pet is more than just an act of love and affection. It gives students the opportunity to study animal behavior, particularly their interaction with humans."

And on that note I am off to study my own canine's animal behavior. In my next post I will discuss photo hosting sites.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Design Showcase Pages

If you have not stumbled upon our new Design showcase pages yet be sure and check them out. We have added our artwork to a varity of settings to give you guys ideas on how Art Paw pet portraits might work well in every room of your house. I have long been a fan of interior design and have recently become addicted to the Home & Garden network. I'll try and post some pics soon of how we have worked dog art and Scottie collectibles into our own little cottage and studio.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ajax Sketch

Ok one more of the middle child. This is Ajax and this sketch is from a photo taken at Fala Day. Fala Day is a fun event that celebrates Scotties and their people. This is another fast Wacom sketch.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

More Wacom Sketches

This morning I did another quick sketch of one of my Scotts. This is Pixel. This artwork was created using a wacom drawing tablet and the paint brush tool only. There are no filters applied to this hand drawn piece. The top image is where I started with a simple black & white sketch. I then went in and painted in some color. Setting my paintbrush tool at a low opacity I was able to achieve sort of a watercolor or liquid marker effect with the applied color. While I did work by looking at a photograph there is no photo image layer on this piece and it is composed of just hand drawn lines. This loose sketch work is currently not the sort of design work I offer on my commercial site, however it does keep my portrait work fresh and it keeps my hand skills strong, which helps with my painterly style portrait work. I have a real love for line and I think that is what many people are responding to when they choose my painterly style artwork for their pets.

Tutorial Tips:
Well I tried to find a groovy wacom specific tip to share and I sort of struck out. The site does have a tips section, however I was disappointed that the tutorials were not quick-time movies ...ah well those that want to learn will read. Click here for Wacom's Tips Section.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I"m still here

Yes I am still here guys. I know I fell off of the blog for a week. What can I say, I have been really busy with orders. We printed 6 portraits this week, and I proofed Bella, Roxy, Charley, Trixie, Brooks and 4 hounds. We are working on updates for Tabasco, Charley and Trixie. Yesterday I took a break after I had been running errands and worked on a quick sketch to amuse myself. I have to do that every once in awhile. I am posting that doggy here. This is my own Big Tommy. I have been feeling bad that I have not been keeping my sketch journal lately. I decided to do a fast sketch with the wacom and it was quite fun. After I did the initial black & white line drawing I went in and played with color.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Yes ... Another Pug!

This cute pug is Daisy and she has lucky charms in her food bowl.This project is for Kathy Weller. She is a very talented pet portrait artist that is currently working on a portrait for me of my own Pixel. We are swapping our talents. I can't wait to see my finished piece. You can see her ground work sketches of Pixel by clicking here.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sofa Art

When I was a young artist
in my 20's working towards my degree I was in a wonderful world surrounded by really talented artists and amazing instructors. It was a serious world though where we were all striving to be something special and we hungered to create something oh so profound and new. At that time and place the popular attitude was that great art does not match the sofa, and probably should not even be hung anywhere near the sofa. To quote Bob Dylan "I'm younger than that now".

As a commercial artist and as someone that has woven art throughout my home and heart I realize that the snotty elitists that make up rules about what "good" art is just don't get it. Good art is something that makes you feel, and if a print of your pooch that matches your sofa makes you feel good then that is good art. And hey, if you decide to purchase a pink suede sofa to match your dog art, well that is just good design, which some might debate is even more uncommon than good art.

So what is with this interior Pink Pug image you may ask? Well I don't often get to see my finished work in their actual environments since we ship all over the globe. A couple of months ago I started playing around with some stock interior design shots, placing my art in different rooms. The result of that is 4 new pages on the site of design ideas and decorating with dog art tips ( and cat art). So check out Art Paw's new Design Showcase to get ideas for your next portrait, after all one portrait is just not enough since you have so many walls in your home. Keep in mind that our designer rooms are design comps and not necessarily client homes.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tips From Photoshop Pros

It is tutorial Saturday and this is the day of the week that I have set aside to share my favorite on-line photoshop tips & tricks. I don't know what happened to me last Saturday. I was probably working, hmmm or maybe I was playing with the dogs. Yea I was swimming in the lake with the dogs, yea I think I was skinny dipping at the lake with my dogs, no wait we were all four mountain climbing ... ok I was working at my desk all day.

Burn & Dodge
I just found a really nifty tutorial on dodging and burning (without using the dodge & burn tools) from Russell Brown. Those of you that have never seen a Brown tutorial are in for a treat. This guy has a really goofy and animated way of speaking that keeps ya awake.
Quick Time Tutorial: Click Here

If you are an artist or designer that wants to learn a specific software application or a variety of different programs then you need to check out She offers tons of free training movies on a wide variety of graphic design applications. For more serious students she also offers a subscription service with even more knowledge just waiting for your hungry mind.

Ok that is all I have today on tutorials and resources. Feel free to leave a comment and share your favorite tips and design resources.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Don't be Cruel

Or shall we say "Dobie" Cruel. Just heard this story on the radio. Doberman mauls Elvis Presley's Teddy Bear! I love the King, but this story is just too funny.
Check it Out:
Hound dog mauls Elvis's teddy bear

New Haiku

Dan has returned to his Haiku blog and is writing again. Pixel now has her first poem.

A Slow Walk to Love

What hath heaven wrought?
Not Pixel, Not my Pixel
Walking, toes are bit

Check out his poetry blog when you have time:
Haiku Dog

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Washington Post Express

Thanks to all the folks at the Washington Post Express for featuring Art Paw back in July. And a special thanks to Jennifer for e-mailing us a pdf of the article today. Yay Jennifer! We are thrilled that they chose to use Sirloin the Pug's portrait in this terrific feature on custom artwork. They refer to "punch hued canvas from Art Paw". I love that ... it makes me think of the phrase "punch drunk", along with bright party colors. Hmmm ... punch hued, yes I love it. It has been a long hard week so this is indeed the pat on the back that I needed today.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Long Day

Today was very productive and long. Almost midnight and I just finished a proof page for sweet Grizzly. I also created another portrait for Ozzie today and revised 4 portraits that needed tweaking. I buckled down this morning determined to get caught up. The real secret to my success today was leaving a message on the phone that told the world that I would be away from the phone until Friday. Yes I am taking a phone break. It is really great to shut out the world for 48 hours.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back To School Posters

Wow, August so soon! It is back to school time and we are grouping some groovy dorm room posters together for you to collect. Check out our wild life section in our gift shop for some original art that you just can't find at the Mall. Sure you can get some of your favorite doggy breeds, however we also have birds, primates, insects, big cats and more.