Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Where is my magic keyboard button?

Kedron ( See All Proofs)

This very handsome Springer Spaniel is Kedron. Is that a cool name or what?  This artwork is coming along well. I think I have done a pretty decent job of painting in a lot of missing detail and texture. Now I just need to find my magic button on the keyboard that will erase the scarf and fill in the gaping hole with  hair. 

Taking off hats, shirts, and scarves is one of the most common requests I get. I have seen many portrait artists, both digital and traditional that have strict photo guidelines that encourage folks to not send in these types of photos.  The reason is simple, it is pretty hard to fill in hair that you can not see. How is it supposed to fall? Is it curly or straight?  In this case I will spend a few hours pouring over photos on-line of similar dogs to try to mimic what that chest "might" look like.  I don't mind a challenge, I just always hope folks understand that my keyboard looks just like theirs, not like the sample below ... that is just me having some fun by creating a dream keyboard ... with special dog art commands. I do wish Apple would get busy and create that.
I am having fun here and teasing a bit. As frustrating as challenging photos can often be I have to remind myself of what I tell my assistants:  " you learn twice as much from hard photographs as you do from perfect snapshots".  Ok, I am signing off to go study chest hair now.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Mosaic Monday/ Blue Dog

Blue Dog
Originally uploaded by siriusmosaics
I think I have blogged Lynn's work before. She does many realistic style doggy mosaics, and yet this fun and rather playful find in her Flickr stream made me smile this morning, love those Tennis balls. Below is an image of a Hybrid Husky she has been working on. You can see more of Sirius Mosaics over at flickr.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Water Dogs Cooling me off!

Grendall ( see all proofs)
I recently finalized proofs for Grendall and today I spoke with another client that will be sending me photos to work on of her pups in the water. I can honestly say that working on water dogs seems to have a cooling effect on my psyche.   If anybody else would like me to work on a custom pet portrait project this summer of their pet in the water, just order by phone and I will offer you free shipping.  This is a blog promo offer and you must have a wet pet to qualify.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Horse Art

"Cecil" ( see all proofs)
This is Cecil. I love doing horses.  Cecil is no longer around and so we had only vintage snapshots to work with. In all of the photographs this guy's eyes were down and not showing much. In order to paint in some sparkle I went on-line and searched "horse eye" over at flickr to see just what a horse's eye should look like. The process was tricky as there were many wide open eyes that I could have mimicked and yet I was afraid to open the eye too much and risk it not looking like Cecil. I decided instead to paint in some eyelashes and paint in a highlight dot for sparkle. The result is subtle and effective, see image below.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shipping many pet portraits

"Soren" ( see all proofs)

Catching my breath from a busy ship week. We got 6 portraits down to fedex today including Soren's print above. A few more will ship tomorrow. New clients pleases sit tight as we finish up early June's commissions. We are having a pretty busy summer. I hope to get back to some other projects soon and focus ahead to the holidays.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mosaic Monday

"Average Blue Dog on an Abstracted Day"
by Dayna Hydrick

Check out the clever animal mosaics over at the Whacky Funster's website. The blue dog above is my favorite.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Sottish Terrier Art

Mac The Scottie Dog (see all proofs)

I love all of my four legged clients and yet I have to admit that there are few things that enjoy as much as working on a Scottish Terrier. In thinking back over the last 11 years I am sad to report that Scotties have not been one of the breeds that we have see a lot of here at Art Paw ( our own 3 Scotts are the exception). I think this is largely due to the fact that there are just not that many Scotties around. Scotties are indeed a pretty uncommon breed.

About The Art:
I love the original photo here. Mr. Mac is looking rather sheepish with his square patch of white paint on his rump. I thought his eyes looking up from underneath those shaggy brows looked very sweet and innocent. The top image is a last minute composition experiment that I liked a lot. While it is a pity to loose any of those proud Scottie ears the close asymmetrical crop is pretty dynamic.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Mosaic Monday

Originally uploaded by martinbrownart
This stunning pup was found on Flickr. Original mosaic art by Martin Brown.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

New Golden Doodle Art

This colorful Golden Doodle is Dublin. Dublin the Darling Doodle Dog. Wow that was fun to say out loud. Is everyone having a good Thursday? I can not get over how fast the weeks keep slipping away from me.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Dogs Rule In Somerset Gallery Magazine

Above right My Page with Miss Pixel in a scarf.

The other day I received a complimentary copy if this month's issue of Somerset Studio and was delighted to see a great article on a collaborative project I was involved in last year with a group of very talented dog artists. The Dogs Rule Project was a lot of fun and there is a new project in the works that Jill is working on with a Party Animals theme. If you have not checked out any of the Somerset publications you need to pick up a copy. They are eye candy and inspiration for artists.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Mosaic Monday

"Glass Octopus & Squid Sketches"
above: Blank tiles papered and ready for glass.

I am back in class and working on mosaics again. I decided to do a bunch of small glass sketches. I consider these "sketches" due to their small size and the speed in which I am working. These little tiles are 5 x 5 inches and I have 2 basic designs that I am trying with different color combos. Some of my favorite color combinations may be worked into a larger piece and the yellow & brown tile squid is already being added to a larger piece by itself.

When you work in mosaics and when you are new to mosaics like I am you often start a piece with no clear idea of how things will look in the end. How will the glass colors work together and what color of grout will be best? By working small I can easily take risks without fear of putting several weeks in a piece only to be disappointed by an unfortunate grout color choice. In this case I was surprised to find that I actually liked the subtle brown, blue and gold more than the bold orange & green. The design on the burgundy & yellow octopus (bottom right on top pic) is my least favorite and I probably would choose not to create this design larger.

Next On The List: Photography! I have got to spend some time with my camera and figure out a good way to photograph mosaics. My best girlfriend has a nice lighting booth she has designed to shoot jewelry. I may borrow that for my smaller works. With mosaics you do not want to eliminate all reflections as this will flatten them some, however you do want to minimize the light reflections and gain control over them.