Saturday, February 28, 2009

Art Paw on HGTV ( blog )

Wow, Art Paw was featured on the HGTV blog "Design Happens" by Kristine Brabson. The article titled "Creature Comforts" was posted earlier in Feb. and you can read it by clicking here. If I would only check my web logs more often I would have noticed the spike in traffic. Thanks for the shout out Kristine and we would love to work on your puppy Nico. You listed some very talented artists and we are happy to have been included.

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Artwork For Animal Clinic

" Eddie"

Some of you guys may recall that last year I had a large commission to create several portraits for The San Diego Animal hospital. These are 2 more portraits for that project. We should have all of their rooms filled with Art Paw prints by spring. This was a wonderful project because the animals used for the walls were all pets belonging to the clinic staff. How fun would it be to go to work every day and see a large 24 x 24 print of your own pet? I printed Eddie this week and he should ship by next Weds. His colors turned out great.

More Dog Art On the Walls

"Walter and Maia" with Walter and Maia

Thanks to Katy for sending us this terrific shot of her pet portrait at home. Katy has requested that we create a Gift Shop Page with her artwork. That will actually be a terrific task for Lola to do on Monday since she is starting back with us next week.

I love it when clients send us pics of their pups next to their artwork. We have a "client walls" section here on the blog and anyone that sends us at home photos will have their work added to that section of the Art Dog Blog. When I receive at home pics during my busy week it allows me to slow down for a second or two and really remember why I do what I do. Art Paw is really all about pets, home, love and a celebration of that love. If it was just about doggy art I would have gotten bored with it years ago, nope Art Paw is about pets and the humans that love them.

You guys have a great weekend ...take the dogs to the park!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Saint Bernard Art

"Clyde" ( see all proofs)
This handsome pup is Clyde. I am usually hesitant to work on hard profile portraits however in this case I think it turned out really nice. Sometimes when a pup is staring off the canvas in one direction your eye will follow that stare. I think in Clyde's case we are left wondering what he is thinking about and his noble calm expression tells us a lot about him.

About the Art: This was a painterly project and if you check out his proofing set you will see some softer versions. This sample has a crisp posterize effect on top of the painterly work. Lately I have been wanting to see more contrast in my work and I have been playing more with filters on top of the smudge work.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More New Shnauzer art

"Newman" ( See All Proofs)

This cutie pie Schnauzer is Newman, brother to Kozmo. I love the orange ball. I am late posting today. My canvas stretching gal is here and we have been printing & shipping today.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sophie The Yorkie had tough photos


Sometimes clients will submit a handful of photos that all fall a tad short in some way. You can tell from all of the photos submitted of Sophie that she is an adorable little Yorkie. She is just as cute as a button and unfortunately she is about the size of a button in most of the images submitted. It is important to get up very close to your pets when shooting images for an Art Paw pet portrait. In the final image above we can see Sophie's pretty eyes and I was happy to clone out the hand in this image since the coat was well lit and had plenty of detail. At 176 kb it was a little low in resolution, however it will work fine for the 12 x 12 canvas ordered. I am really having fun with this project and plan to proof later today. I think Sophie is going to turn out really fun.

We do have a couple of great pages on the site with tips for taking good pet photographs:

New Art Kozmo The Schnauzer

"Kozmo" ( See All Proofs)
I am loving my job today, and loving this adorable Schnauzer. Kozmo lives in Bloomington Minnesota. I am also working on his brother today, Newman. His human tells us that Kozmo is the older more mellow pup. A sensitive boy, he will pin his ears back if you raise your voice.

About the Art:
The sample above is one of my bolder options provided. I created it by using my painterly style, and I worked and smudged the pixels around in the soft way I usually do. Then when I got it to a happy place I made a duplicate image and posterzied my work. Then I painted on top of that posterized layer with digital paint strokes and smudge finger painting. The background is a brand new ground created from and old ground and the shape tool.

Monday, February 23, 2009

American Bulldog Art ( I think)

" Tiffany"

This afternoon I am working on Miss Tiffany. I think she is an American Bulldog although I could be very wrong. She may be a Pitt. I do know she is a stunning girl, and I do know that this pet portrait will ship to Ft. Lauderdale Florida. I also know I have a lot more work to do, so I should get back to it.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

"Trooper" ( See all Proofs )

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

This stunning pup is Trooper. I just uploaded his proofing set. The eyes in this original photograph were lovely and I immediately fell for this big guy. This pet portrait will ship to Coronado California. I visited Coronado once when I was a teenager and it was a lovely place. My old assistant Matt always asked me where each piece was shipping, he was fascinated by the fact the we are able to attract clients from all over the globe. I was always so crazy busy with orders I often would not even notice addresses until it was time to package things up, so I would tell him "I dunno". Lately I have been wanting to get away so I am really starting to be aware of the destinations of my artwork.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Made With Love

Today's video is a very short clip of dinner preparation at our house. My good friend Sheila was visiting earlier this week and she shot us working in the kitchen. If you are like us you have experimented with a variety of fancy premium foods for your pets. I find the most important ingredient can be love and enthusiasm at dinner time. Enjoy the silliness and happy Friday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lola The Golden Doodle

" Lola" (See all Proofs)

I am battling a silly head cold today and yet I managed to get Miss Lola proofed. This is a large 34 x 34 print and I think I may get the opportunity to tweak it just a little bit further. I am getting really busy. I took Monday & Tuesday off to play a little hooky with a friend and in the last 3 days I have received 4 new orders, Yay for Art Paw. Tomorrow I have to get caught up on e-mail requests. You would be surprised at how many assorted questions, and requests a small company like mine can receive every single day. I try to respond to e-mails as quickly as possible and yet at some point I have to remind myself that I am paying to have a toll-free number and if it is urgent people can call me on my dime.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sara Toga The Cairn terrier

"Sara" ( see all proofs)

This adorable pup is from last week's commissions. I am away from my desk some until Weds. My pal Sheila from Florida is in town and we have been playing today. I will make up for it by working next weekend. I have had 3 commissions come in while she has been here so there will be much to do later this week.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

photography © Dan Collins

Not a traditional valentines image, but I like it. I was looking through my husband's photos this morning to find something to print out for him. He does not have enough of his photography on the walls here at the house, and this image reminds me of a fun day we shared together. I am going to go ahead and do this on a 12 x 12 stretched canvas for him. I also bought him a lovely and rather large Bonsai Tree.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

White Labs Lily & Sam

This project has been fun. It is a Valentines gift for a local client. The couple has children of the 2-legged variety and yet the husband says the dogs are just as much a part of the family and adored by the wife. I think he sort of adores them as well, and he spoke affectionately about the unique posture of each pup and how I should try to capture that. The female is on the left and she sits back on her rump as shown. The male is the noble one always sitting up right as if ready to greet the queen.

About the Artwork:
The client requested a color pallet of browns & ice blue. The sample above is the boldest and strays from that the most. The client had terrific high resolution photos to work with. I used 2 photos of Lily. The posture was perfect in the image to the right below and the face was much better in the shot to the left. I combined the 2 images with a little fancy footwork in photoshop. The full proofing set can be found by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cassius The Boxer

I do love working on Boxers. This project was a special treat for me because the original photograph was a high resolution well shot image. I am pretty pleased with the way this handsome pup turned out. I am still waiting to hear from the client with an approval. I am just hoping she does not approve late on Friday with a desire to have the print in hand on Saturday. I'll play some phone tag later today to try to avoid that possible scenario.

I am feeling just a bit overwhelmed this week. I do have some exciting news about a possible rehire later this spring. Some of you may remember the purple haired pixie that I hired years ago as my first assistant. Well Laura Cash is all grown up and I think she is in that post college stage of what's next? I hope to throw some freelance work her way this spring & summer. We will be catching up this Friday at lunch.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Poodle & Chihuahua

"Punchie & Weezer"
In the original image above you see that we have hands holding our subjects. Using the rubber stamp or clone tool I have stamped over those hands with fur and you can see the results below.
In the image above you see the cleaned image ready to be worked with. Without any arms to hold these two pups, they needed something to rest on so I incorporated some pillows into the composition. The client requested that I lengthen the poodle's ears a tad. The blue crumpled shape in the front is a favorite sock toy. I still have a long way to go on this, but it is really starting to take some shape.

Scottish Terriers RULE!

Sadie the Scottie took the terrier group last night at Westminster! Of course we were all at the edge of our seat rooting and arroooing at the win. The other fun Scottie tid-bit I have been meaning to post is about the new movie Caroline. We saw it over the weekend and there are Scotties in it! It was a great movie. The Scotties play a minor role and yet it was fun to see how well the artists nailed not only the breed but also their crazy eccentric owners. Click the trailer below and watch for the Scotties towards the end in the audience. You can read more about the making of these 3-d animated Scotts over at the Scottish Terrier and Dog News Blog.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Westminster Videos

The Westminster Dog show starts tonight, be sure and set your recorder! I was just poking around their website. Each year I start to see those good looking glamor shot commercials on TV for this show in early Feb. These stunning commercials are set against bright yellow and have close crops of dogs with their hair flowing in the wind, and I always want to see more of that type of video so I check out youtube. Again this year they are failing to capitalize on their real-world commercials by not offering them on-line. I would love to embed one of those 2 minute promos here. I did discover that they do have a video section on their site and you can click on your favorite breed and see the judging of that breed from past years. Try it out and give it time to load:

Friday, February 06, 2009

Buddy & Althea

I am still playing around with Buddy and Althea today. I hope to have their proofing set ready later this afternoon. I think these 2 pups have come a long way from their original photos.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Rotating Doggy Heads and Glow Eye

Today I am posting Buddy & Althea in progress. This video shows the early stages of a new pet portrait commission. I would say that 80% of the images that come through have challenges of some sort. Before I can start to play and have fun with color I often have to address minor issues like glow eye or other photographic mishaps. To send 2 out of every 3 clients back to the drawing board to take more photos is just not practical. In this video I deal with glow eye and start to work with composition a little on a 2 pet project.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Shadow the Dalmatian

This is a funky close crop of Shadow the Dalmatian. His full proofing set can be found by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Frenchie in the City

This little French Bulldog is Arnaud. He is a cool urban doggy that lives here in Dallas. His composition is looking fun. I will probably show his human a version where his ears are not quite so distorted. I had the pleasure of meeting this fine young pup. He is full of energy and does this crazy bunny hop move when he jumps off the couch. I should be able to finalize his artwork tomorrow.

Taz & Josie at Home

"Josie and Taz the kitty"

This client was just a lot of fun. She was into artistic crops and she was very easy to work with. She says they love the prints and they make her and her husband giggle because Josie is looking so sweet and Taz, well the kitty is a wee bit intense with those large demanding eyes. Hanging side by side the contrast between the easy going pup and the more intense kitty is rather amusing. I think her exact words were "kitty from hell" or something of that nature. Anyway, thanks again Sarah and thanks for sending us the at home pic.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Daisy New Pug Art

This is Daisy. I am finalizing her artwork today. I am also going to be working on Arnuad the Frenchie today. Daisy's project was pretty straight forward, a full body portrait on an 18 x 18 canvas. The original photograph was pretty good. The only big physical change I made was slightly lifting and rotating her head.