Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Contest Reminder

Don't forget to enter Sergeant's photo contest for the chance to win a large 34 x34 pet portrait. This is a great chance to win some terrific prizes for you or your pooch.

Sergeant's Pet Care Products And Pet Specialist Steve Dale Team - Amazing videos are here

Other studio news this week:

Getting a handful of prints out the door today. My candle packaging project has been completed and should go to press next week. We have a lot of work in-house at the moment. I am hoping to carve out some time next month to take a tile mosaic class. I am so hungry to get my hands dirty with a fun craft project. I love working at the computer all day but there is something very satisfying about creating something in 3D.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I am 45 today

(above) I am the little girl in the middle with the 50 cent Toll sign .... ha always the entrepreneur. I was 7 here in this photo. It was November in Texas and we were running around with our shoes off. The two kids to the left are cousins and the boy to the right my brother.
(above) I was 2 here.

Where have the years gone? I am 45 years "young" today, I guess that is like saying the glass is half full. I am glad to be here. I am glad to be here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

In need of morning coffee?

I am dragging today. Going to focus on printing finished portraits and also my candle packaging project. I am not doing anything till I have my morning caffeine.

Just stumbled across this and while a bit off-topic for the dog blog, it fits the morning very well. So enjoy the "art coffee".

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Frog The Bulldog

This morning I have been playing with Frog the Bulldog. A Flickr pal suggested I title this "English Bullfrog", I like that. This is a painterly portrait project and one of about a dozen I have on the board right now. I am trying very hard to get caught up around here. Allison will be making proof pages for Frog and a few other pups tomorrow, so check out the homepage on Weds. for changes.

All orders are being worked on in the order they were placed and paid projects are given top priority. What this means is that if you sent in a photo or two and never gave us your payment info then your project is on our pending board. Here at Art Paw we allow folks to place orders in a variety of ways and one of those includes opting to pay by phone "later". The only problem with that option is you do have to follow up and make that phone call to get your project moving. I will be spending tomorrow afternoon trying to finalize all of our dropped ball projects. If you feel you may be in that category give me a call toll-free so we can get the ball rolling again on your project ( 888-225-4278 ).

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Shutter Bug

Bee with Color
Originally uploaded by artpaw.
Old capture from 2 weeks ago. Swamped with orders right now guys ... I will blog on doggy art very soon.

I loved capturing this bee on Dan' camera. He was explaining something about my camera to me and I looked down and saw this little fellow trying to take a picture. I snapped a few and this was my favorite.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Family loss, and new stray

What a week. My husband lost his 95 year old Grandfather Tuesday morning and we spent the day with family. Whitman was a very sweet old guy and a real character. At 95 if you aren't called a character then you aren't having enough fun. It is often tough in family situations like these to feel like you can do enough for folks. I made tea and tried to make sure everyone had something to drink, but other than that I felt pretty helpless. Everyone is sad and misses him yet at 95 there is more of a feeling and need to celebrate his life, and share old stories. As a newcomer in my husband's family it is fun to hear all the old stories for the first time.

When we returned home that evening Dan found a stray puppy that had been dumped in the neighborhood. We were both exhausted from the day, and his phone kept ringing with loose end problems at his work. Still we worked together for over 2 hours, bathing this little guy, and picking over 100 tics off of his inner ear flaps. He was so covered in tics I do not know how he had a drop of blood left in him. It felt really nice to be able to do something for this little guy after a day of loss. He is a happy little fellow now and ready for adoption. The Scotties do not know what to make of him. I think they can tell he is just a visitor.

If you live in Dallas: please ask around and let me know if you may know of a good home for him. He is at the perfect age for adoption.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Splish Splash Photo Contest

Sergeant's is holding a photo contest with a bath time theme. Enter to win fabulous prizes including the grand prize of a 34 x 34 Custom Pet Portrait in any style by Art Paw. We are of course thrilled to have been chosen by this well known pet care supply company and we will be telling all our pals to enter. Steve Dale will be judging the entries.
Don't send us your pics .... you need to do all that over at sergeants.com. Be sure and click on the "Talk to Steve" button for some fun Flash info.
Click here to enter

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Business Card Video

I have been needing to reorder and revamp our business cards around here. I stumbled across this funny video today on card design. All of you design lovers will get a kick out of it. Be sure and turn up your volume.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Chihuahua Art

Last week I worked on a couple of sweet Chihuahuas. Tug and Spike are pals. I am posting Tug's artwork today. The original image on this was another low resolution challenge. It did have a lot going for it in that the pup is adorable and "blankies" always say love, home and warmth. I am very happy with how this little pup turned out. The deep red and mint green are a new color combo for me. I enjoy working with background elements like ordinary covers, sheets and towels. It is fun to reinvent these items into rich plush fantasy linens.

Click the image below to see the pixelation that occurs when you enlarge a low resolution image.

When working with low resolution images you will find that the jagged pixelated look that occurs on enlargement has to be addressed before you can even start to play with color and texture. I have found that my best method is to blur the image to smooth it out and then burn in detail.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Design Projects

I received a couple of cases of wine last month with the label design that I completed earlier this year. Mr. Big Paws (a.k.a. Tucker) is famous now. Check out Jaffurs Wine on-line. The owner creates a wine each year that has the proceeds going to a local non profit dog park.

This month in addition to a few commissions I am working on a magazine cover, and a cool packaging project for a local candle company. I should be able to post the candle pics by the middle of June. I am very excited about all of the fun design opportunities that are coming our way lately. The candle project will also have a portion of the proceeds going to help an assortment of animal related charities.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Creating Contrast for Phoebe

This week I will print & finalize a few portraits including Phoebe. I loved the sweet expression on this pup's face. The original photo was pretty good. The main thing I needed to do was bump up the contrast and paint in some missing detail. One thing I always try to create with each piece are really deep dark blacks in the black areas. The more contrast a piece has the better. See the two details below to see what a little contrast can do.

Photoshop Tip: For those of you that dabble in Photoshop I will share one of my favorite tips for tweaking contrast. A lot of people will go right to the "Adjust Contrast" filter and slide the little slider until it looks good. That is one way to tweak the contrast however to get your blacks as deep as you may want them you will often blow out your whites too much. A better solution is to choose "selective color" and choose just your blacks and then bump them till they look right. Of course curves would be another good option.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

American Bulldog Pup

I shot this photo at our local dog park last weekend. I love this breed. The dog park is great on the weekends ...so many different types of dogs to watch. Since most of my portrait work is done from snapshots I find that going to dog parks and dog shows allows me to really study the different personalities of the different breeds and this is good working knowledge to have as a pet portrait artist. Of course this little guy was a feisty pup doing all the puppy things that all dogs do.

With Diane and Dan's help I have been revisiting an abandoned blog that I started last year. I may even try to recruit our resident cat gal Allison to help me keep up with this second blog. Check it out if you have time: dallasdogparkblog.com

Monday, May 07, 2007

Red Hot Poker with Bee

Red Hot Poker with Bee
Originally uploaded by artpaw.
I'll be getting back to the blog this week, and posting more dog art very soon. I have been really swamped with orders lately and that is a good thing. I am off on Mondays and I went to the arboretum this morning with Dan to shoot flowers. These flowers had tons of busy bees doing their pollination thing inside each tiny petal.

I guess a busy bee is an appropriate image to start the week off with. At any rate, that is what I am posting.