Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Art Paw's Google Calendar

This week I am going to get back to discussing the elements of design and on Thursday I will talk about "line". Today I want to share a new tool I just discovered over at Google. Check out their calendar feature. You can make your calendar public to share with others. I plan to embed my calendar on the site soon where clients can check for their estimated proofing date. I can also create personal calendars that I mark as private that will not show up on-line or in searches.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ordering a Pet Portrait from Art Paw

" Charlie going for a ride"
This is Charlie's first proof. I was going to e-mail it to my client today and now I realize she never gave me her e-mail address. She sent the photo via the snapfish website and she sent in a gift certificate by mail along with a great little hand written note, but no e-mail address. No worries, I do have her phone number.

Here at Art Paw we offer at least half a dozen options when placing an order. Clients can order by mailing in their photos along with a check payment or payment via gift certificate. They can order entirely on-line ( yes, we love that option), or they can pick up the phone and call us toll free and we can chat about their project and take their payment info by phone. They can send us an e-mail with their photo attached and we can get the ball rolling that way.

This post is to offer up a few tips when working with us.

In order to Start a Pet Portrait Project we need 3 things:
#1 Photos
#2 Payment
#3 Your contact info, including e-mail and phone number.

When mailing in photos or payment by US post:
We have a great section where you can download a printable order form that you can fill out so we have all your important details. Too much trouble, no printer ink? Then just be sure to give us as much info as you can on a piece of paper, such as: e-mail, phone number, shipping address and the name of your pet.
Art Paw Mailing address:
P.O. Box 181085
Dallas, TX. 75218-1085

When ordering via e-mail:
Please use the same e-mail all the time if possible throughout the ordering process. It can drive me bonkers when a client makes payment via one e-mail, then sends photos through another e-mail. It makes it difficult to cross reference. Also I love clients that use a signature in their e-mails that includes a phone number.

When ordering on-line:
This is the 100% most efficient way to order for clients that do not mind filling out a web-form. When a client places an order entirely on-line there is very little I need to tell you here, as the process is simple and straight forward. If you fill out our order form on-line you are given the option to pay on-line, by gift cert, or pay later by check or phone. When not paying by credit card on-line it is the client's responsibility to follow up and get their payment info to us somehow before we begin their project.
Our toll free number is at the top of every page on our site:888-225-4278
All orders are started on the week payment is made.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Who Who... Is a wise old owl?

Rebecca Lansdowne ( Age10 )
India Ink & Crayon

I guess today I am the wise old owl ... I just turned 46. Yay for me. For today's post I dug through an envelope of old drawings from childhood.

Early Dog Portraits...
Rebecca Lansdowne ( Age 7)
Rebecca Lansdowne ( Age 7)

Rebecca Lansdowne ( Age 10 )
India Ink & Crayon
India Ink & Crayon

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Color Quotes

Today I offer up a few favorite quotes about color from the masters. The first and the last really sum up my own passion for color.

“Color possesses me. I don't have to pursue it. It will pursue me always, I know it.”

Paul Klee
Swiss Expressionist Painter, 1879-1940

“I am crazy about two colors: carmine and cobalt. Cobalt is a divine color and there is nothing so beautiful for creating atmosphere. Carmine is as warm and lively as wine... the same with emerald green.”
Vincent Van Gogh
Dutch Post-Impressionist Painter, 1853-1890

“The painter of the future will be a colorist in a way no one has been before.”
Vincent Van Gogh
Dutch Post-Impressionist Painter, 1853-1890

“A thimbleful of red is redder than a bucketful.”
Henri Matisse
French Fauvist Painter and Sculptor, 1869-1954

“I never met a color I didn't like.”
Dale Chihuly
American Glassmaker, b. 1941

Tomorrow I will post a resource list for color fans.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tickled Pink

"Persian Pink" created at

Here at Art Paw I am sort of known for my rich reds, oranges and swampy greens. I have however on occasion tried my hand at Pink. The palette above is called "Persian Pink". Pixie is an older kitty cat project and I think pink suits her well.

Pink Color Trivia:
In 1968, Mary Kay Ash, purchased the first Pink Cadillac, which eventually became the trademark of her company.

In Japan, the color pink has a masculine association. The annual spring blooming of the pink-blossomed cherry trees (the Sakura) is said to represent the young Japanese warriors who fell in battle in the prime of life (the Samurai).

"Pink" is a song by Aerosmith.

Japanese stoner/drone band Boris had a 2005 album called Pink.

The Pink House is the residence of the President of Argentina.

When you think pink is it all about cotton candy and cool jazzy panthers? Leave me a comment and tell me more about the color pink!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jinx Cat Portrait and the Color Purple

"Jinx" the Cat

This week I have been craving the color purple. It is a shade I usually tend to avoid because unless you handle it properly it can and will look a wee bit girlish. When I was a child violet was my favorite shade ... I guess it is a favorite of many young girls.
I really love how meaty and tough this lavender looks (above) when combined with the orange in Jinx's background.

Color Trivia:
• Tyrian purple, also known as royal purple, imperial purple or imperial dye, is a purple-red dye which was first produced by the ancient Phoenicians. The dye substance occurs naturally, but must be harvested by humans. It consists of a fresh mucus secretion from the hypobranchial gland of a medium-sized sea snail.

In the Star Trek universe, Klingons have purple blood.

• In his hit song "Dang Me," Roger Miller sings these lines:

Roses are red, violets are purple
Sugar is sweet and so is maple surple .

"Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don't seem the same
Actin funny, but I don't know why
scuse me while I kiss the sky
Purple haze all around" - Jimmy Hendrix

Purple was Frank Zappa's favorite color.

Purple is associated with Saturday on the Thai solar calendar. Anyone may wear purple on Saturdays and anyone born on a Saturday may adopt purple as their color.

Please post a comment and share your own thoughts or trivia on purple. Come on ... don't be a shrinking violet ... leave us a comment laced in lavender.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Color Inspiration

Yesterday I talked about Well, practicing what I preach I went over there yesterday afternoon in search for inspiration. Tired of my same old backgrounds, I decided to create something brand new. I found a palette I liked in a stripe pattern. I recreated it in Photoshop and then used my digital paint tools to smudge it up and dirty up the hard lines. The colors even changed quite a bit and I sort of made the stripes my own. While does not allow commercial use of their member created patterns, usage such as this where a pattern is used as a mere jumping off point is totally encouraged.
"Peanut" ( above)
Original pattern inspiration ( above)

Monday, May 19, 2008

What color is your Monday?

" Cock-a-doodle-do"
a palette I created at

Wow, back from vacation, and so much to catch up on. What color is your Monday? I decided to pick this color palette to start the week with because I need all the energy I can muster. This month I want to start discussing the elements of design, spending a week or so on each element. This week will be all about color ... and I will be posting fun color trivia and articles and resources. I have very little time to write today, so instead I invite you to take a look at .... this is a great place to play around and create your own color palettes to share and enjoy. Potential pet portrait clients should cruise the site to get color ideas for their artwork, and I hope all my fellow artists and design buddies will find a creative use for this fun color palette maker.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Leo The Labradoodle


Last week I tried hard to get a lot of folks proofed before I left on vacation. Leo is one of those many pet portrait projects awaiting approval. I am still on vacation today although I am back home now and checking in on a few e-mails & projects.

About The Art: This piece has a fun adaptation of a background I have been using a lot lately. By cropping this ground off-center in an asymmetrical fashion it takes on a whole new personality, which works well for this full-bodied portrait.

Next week: I want to talk about art and design a little bit next week. Having a basic understanding of the elements and principles of design is crucial in creating unique artwork that stands apart from the many print-on-demand digital service providers out there. Next week I will post some trivia, resources and fun facts about design basics.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Egret with snake

I am visiting my good friend Sheila in Florida right now. Last night we were out in a wetland area and we saw this white egret trying to kill and eat a snake. We were very close to this huge bird and yet it did not seem too concerned about us watching him.

Today we are going to butterfly world. I will be back at my desk on Weds. Dan is holding down the fort for me while I am away.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

New Pet Portraits... big dogs!

"Olive" the Great Dane
(see more Olive proofs)
"Molson" The American Bulldog
(see more Molson proofs)

Yesterday we proofed Molson & Olive. I really enjoyed working on both of these adorable over sized pups. Molson is one of a handful of memorial projects we have worked on this last month. I hope I have captured the spirit of this big apple headed boy. His original photos were just great. The detail was so crisp, I can just imagine what his huge lovable head must have felt like in your hands.
Olive is sweet and I love her huge stand-up ears.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Vintage Dog Ads

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a born marketer. I love advertising and the history of advertising. Today I am posting a few ads from days gone by. Click on the images if you want to follow through to the original Flickr photo-streams.

(above) Scottie dog selling Kotex
(above) Stylized hound selling perfume

(above) Brown pups selling electric blanket ...
"call off your dogs Oswald"
(above) Cute pup selling stoves and ranges

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dog Commercial

It is a rainy slow to rise morning. The dogs just want to snuggle. Fooling around on YouTube I found this great foreign commercial with dog. Dogs have been used for decades to sell everything from tires to phones. Tomorrow I will post some vintage ads with dogs. Today I offer up this modern and heartwarming lost dog story.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Scottish Terrier Mosaic Donation

This Saturday we went to an outdoor Scottie event called Fala day. It is an annual event that we always go to. It is put on by North Texas Scottie Rescue. This glass mosaic was a piece I created for their auction. I also sold one mosaic piece and a handful of prints & night lights. The piece below is called "Endless Determination" and it is the first Mosaic piece I have sold. It was a little painful to see it go, but I am happy it went to a very good home of a fellow artist and Scottie lover.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Cool Pet Names / Stumpy-Joe!

Today I am working on Stumpy-Joe and a few other projects. When this adorable bulldog project came in I just laughed out loud. What a name!

I started thinking about a handful of the cool pet names we have seen over the years.

I'll list just a few here:

Jean Clawed
Tonka & Tini
Sirloin Theodore of Pugsylvania
Kung Fu Fu

My own personal history of pets and names:
Juno ( white kitty of my teen years )
Demos & Phoebos ( 2 black kitties from college ...lived a long time)
Atticus ( First Scottie, husband named this special pup)
Nessie ( 2nd Scott ... I named this sweet girl)
Ajax ( 3rd Scott ... named with husband)
Big Tommy ( 4rth Scott name slightly adjusted from adoption ...we added the "Big")
Pixel ( 5th Scott ... I named her, but it did not take ...we call her Picky or Pickle)