Monday, November 30, 2009

Mosaic Monday / Video

I think you guys will like the work of Australian mosaic artist Brett Campbell. The video below shows a wide range of subjects including a few animals. You can learn more about Brett on his web site. The site offers supplies and kits for those that are new to mosaics and need help getting started.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last Day Off For Awhile

Well its is Saturday and we have one more family gathering to enjoy. Today I am going to relish my last day off from work for a few weeks. On Sunday I will be back at my desk and working on portraits. I will also get caught up with e-mail and try to touch base with any clients waiting on proofs for longer than one week. I am about to go into the last long stretch of intense work & creating. The finish line is just ahead and I am hoping to wrap up all my projects by 12/20.

Have a great weekend everyone. Enjoy your families.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful For So Many Great Clients

"Henry" ( see all proofs)
© 2009 rebecca collins/
Harper ( see all proofs)
© 2009 rebecca collins/
© 2009 rebecca collins/

Today as I organize new orders and review all the projects that need updating I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, which is a very good thing and the normal way I should be feeling as we go in to the final month before Christmas. I am also feeling very thankful to all of you guys that have been ordering early and paying attention to the holiday deadlines.

I probably will not be extending the deadline this year as we are officially swamped. I will be having a sale on Friday though for both existing and new clients that may want to do a Gift Certificate Purchase. Gift Certificates are a great way to order a portrait for your self or a loved one and not have to worry about photos right now. So even if you have an order placed with us for your own pup you might consider doing a gift certificate for Mom & Dad. They will enjoy working with us and picking out their favorite proofs.

Check Back for our Black Friday Sale and order a Pet Portrait Gift Certificate this month that we will create for you later in January of 2010.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Santa Scottie

"Big Tommy Says HoHoHo"
( above back-side of card)

This weekend I spent some time designing our holiday card. Back in the mid 1990's I worked full time as an independent greeting card designer. I recall that I really enjoyed designing the backs of my cards. I am pleased with the back of this one. The tiny word in the center of the ray beams is "wag". The interior copy reads "joy". I had a version with the snowflakes on solid blue and one with just the ray beams. When I asked Dan which to use he said combine them .... and that was the perfect answer.

Oh ...and yes ... this is repurposed art from the Party Animals Project. Originally Tommy was shot with a party hat.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Kitty Mosaic

Originally uploaded by cbmosaics
Lovely kitty cat from Christine Brallier. See more from Christine over at: or click through to her Flickr stream.

I am swamped with work. Will try to post some new projects soon. This will be such a short week.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Dog Named Dylan

"Dylan" ( see all proofs)
© 2009 rebecca collins/

This morning I have been playing with a dog named Dylan while listening to a man named Dylan. I am trying out the Rhapsody music site. Currently I am enjoying Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series Vol. 6: Live 1964.

About The Art:
I rotated this handsome Chocolate Lab's head just a bit and brightened the photo before I started. Everyone always comments on Mr. Big Paws, another lab on the site and so I referenced that older work a bit before I started. The images above have a posterize effect applied to the painted work. I have a softer painterly option available in the proofing set.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Zoey The Bulldog

© 2009

Sometimes our proofing e-mails never reach their destination. Zoey's Dad called me just now because he knew he was supposed to get a proof today and he was eager to see his girl. I sent him a forward and he did not get that e-mail either so we will try adding the proofing link here on the blog.

If you are waiting on a proof and your were given an estimated proofing date you can always give it 24 hours and then give us a call. Proofing dates are usually rough estimates. I am doing my best to handle everyone quickly and yet some projects are harder than others depending on image quality. Zoey's high res. image was terrific and she was breeze. Now if we can just figure out the e-mail problems.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dog Art and yes, more Dog Art

"Lola" ( see all proofs)
© 2009 rebecca collins /
Today I updated a couple of clients, I proofed Lola , Pete-e, and Ginger. Lucy was finalized yesterday and her proofs are on-line. We also shipped a small print to Canada and stretched another project today.

I finally have my head in the game and we are rocking and rolling around here. Tomorrow I will look at all pending color revisions and any orders that have been in-house longer than 2 weeks.

We have a bunch of new orders that came in over the weekend. It seems that people are taking my holiday deadlines to heart. My calendar is public and clients can check it to find their "estimated" proofing dates. It will take up to 48 hours or so for new orders to be placed on the calendar.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mosaic Monday

"Puppy Love and Bunny Kisses" By Linda Billet

The screen shot above is from The Contemporary Mosaic Art Group over at Ning. They have a terrific mosaic Doggy slide show on their main page right now. One of my Scottie mosaics was featured there as well. This is a great group to join if you are a serious Mosaic artist. They currently have 911 members from all over the world. Go check it out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lucy And Her Fly Away Hairs

Sneak Peek of Lucy In Progress

It is a late night and I have been playing around with Miss Lucy. This pretty girl is our first "Small Munsterlander". I take pride in knowing a lot of dog breeds and their temperaments. I had never heard of this breed before. According to Wikipedia: " Small Munsterlanders are very intelligent, trainable, and attentive but require gentle and patient training, which provides excellent results. They are also strong-willed and an owner who is inconsistent or indecisive might find that his dog is hard to control". She sounds like my kind of girl ...we adore stubborn pups around here.

About The Art:
I still have a lot of work to do. Tonight I have been focused on painting in Lucy's fly-away hairs. The 3 detail shots below sort of show some steps. We start with an original photograph. Then my assistant erases the background. When you erase the background it is impossible to get every single hair isolated. Lola does a great job at getting photos ready for me. I know that some hairs will be lost and that is ok because it is easier to go back in and paint them back in than try to erase around them. If I did not go back in with the paint brush tool and the wacom tablet the result would be a little choppy and "cut out" looking. I will try to post a video tutorial on this process later next week. For now the pics below will give you the idea. It is a very time consuming process, but I love it. In fact I may have gone a bit overboard and given her more locks than needed. Hmmm, I'll have to look at that in the morning.

Ginger The Dalmatian

© 2009 rebecca collins

This weekend I have several projects I am working on. The weekends can be a fun time to work. The phone rings a bit less so I can crank up the radio and really get into what I am working on.

About The Art:
With each new photo that comes in I ask myself what is fun and great about this pose and this pup. Then I ask myself what is not so great about the photo? In this case I was torn about the water bottle. So often we see an empty plastic water bottle as trash that needs to be recycled. In this case I was so charmed at how Ginger was actually holding on to that bottle. I decided I had to keep it and make it fun. So with a little purple tinting and some fun white smudges I dressed up that bottle a bit and I think it is working.

Potential portrait clients need to e-mail us photos this weekend to make our holiday deadline. Get your photos e-mailed to Or make payment this weekend and you can get your photos in next week.
Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Making a Big Statement with Composition

" Max" ( see all proofs)
© 2009 Rebecca Collins
About The Art:
I started working with Max today. He is a Great Pyrenees. If you have never met a Pyrenees before you are missing out. They are the biggest most lovable lumps of dog flesh that you can ever want to cuddle up next to. I can not imagine having a dog this big and yet I fall in love with every one that I have ever seen at the parks. So anyway, I did several full body proofing samples and then I decided to play around with composition. The top image is my all time favorite. By cropping much of this gentle giants face off of the canvas I feel like I have captured the bigness that is the Pyrenees. He is way too big to be contained within a mere canvas and so I allowed him to grow beyond the borders. As always the client gets the final say and you can see one of my full body options below. It is fun too, and if they adore his massive paws I can see them going with the full body. People have their things that they love about their babies.

Yet Another Boxer Dog

"Winston" ( see all proofs)
© 2009 rebecca collins

Winston is one of about a dozen projects shipping out this week. The background option shown here is the one they went with and it was fun to see it printed up. The colors looked great. I really like the combination of the raspberry and muted aqua.

I am finally getting over my cold and I am starting to feel confident that we can handle the holiday work load. Yesterday we brought back another part time canvas stretcher and her help is going to make a huge difference as we head into the Christmas rush.

Oh and by the way ...potential clients should know that we do work on other pups besides Boxers. I don't know why we have had so many Boxers come through the doors and on to our digital easel. We do love the breed so we can't complain.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Dog Art and Deadline Reminder

"Billy" ( see all proofs)
© 2009 Rebecca Collins

Well it is official ... we are swamped with orders. Everyone waiting on proofs, please hang tight for a few more days as I get all the new orders organized and started. Today we are shipping out close to a dozen prints. I am doing my best to keep up and create my very best work at the same time. The deadline for holiday orders with a guarantee print delivery is this Sunday the 15th. We will still take orders after that and in most cases be able to deliver in time, we are just not able to 100% guarantee delivery if clients get into color changes and 2nd proofs etc. The 15th is our very safe and comfortable deadline, also known as a soft deadline.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Chihuahua Art

"BeBe & Maggie"
© 2009 Rebecca Collins

My assistant Lola and I are both sick today. We are working though. This is our crazy time of year and we are determined to keep up with our orders. I will be posting more artwork this week.

The artwork above was finalized earlier this month. We are still waiting on an approval from BeBe & Maggie's human. These two pups were a lot of fun to play with. Once a week I pick up the phone and make calls to try and determine if our proofing e-mails are getting through the spam filters. Most clients are very good about getting back with us quickly.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Mosaic Monday / Art Swap Video

" A Tasty Morsel For Eve"
6x6x2 inches
© 2009 Rebecca collins

Today I am posting pics of a finished mosaic that I swapped with artist Eve Lynch. The video below shows both my piece and her piece. We were working under the theme of "Man Eating Plants". You can learn more about Eve and see more of her work over at
. You can see more of my mosaics on my personal portfolio site Enjoy the Vlog post below. It has been awhile since I did any video rambles.

About The Mosaic Art Swap: We traded a list of 3 subjects neither of us had done mosaics on yet. We went with one of her subjects " Man Eating Plant". It was early October and the fun and silly subject was a total blast to work on. I chose to create my project on a 3-D box and continue the glass around the edges. Eve created her work by making a polymer clay monster that worked well with the glass and she trimmed the entire spookiness off with a spiked border. I totally love the work she created for me and look forward to more swaps with more artists in 2010.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Cooper The Weimaraner

Happy Friday everyone. Today I am working on Cooper and a few really cute kiddos. I will be working this weekend so I will try to come up with some fun new stuff to post on.

About Cooper's Art:
First let me just say I LOVE THIS CHAIR! Great original photo.
Today I optimized the photograph and loosened up that folded ear on our left. To create the new ear I just lassoed around the ear on the right, hit command J to put it on a new layer and then flipped horizontal, and moved it into place. Then I took my warp tool and tugged and pulled on that new duplicate ear to make it slightly different than the original. Nobody is symmetrical and the ear to the left is further away from us so it would be a tad smaller due to perspective. I am loving this piece so far. I need to come up with some new background options to show my client and maybe create a bolder Cooper with more colors on the coat.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

More Pet Portraits

Here are a few more pet projects from the last few weeks. I am starting my days earlier and working longer to try to keep up. I love this time of year. The days just fly by.
"Scruggs" ( see all proofs )
© 2009 Rebecca Collins /

"Bingo" ( see all proofs)
© 2009 Rebecca Collins /

"Sweeper & Stryker" ( see all proofs)
© 2009 Rebecca Collins /

"Cleo" ( see all proofs)
© 2009 Rebecca Collins /

If you are thinking about ordering for Christmas and you need a guaranteed delivery please place your commission by November 15th. That is just about a week away!

After that posted cut off date:
Every year it is the same story, we have tons of folks trying to order custom artwork after posted deadlines. Every year I kill myself trying to meet all these late requests. This year after November 15th I will promise on-line proofing only. If you do order late and If you provide a very high quality photo so that your project will go smoothly, and If you approve right away without sending us back to color tweak, then you can probably still have a portrait under the tree for Christmas. If you have deadline concerns you can always give us a call and we will do what we can to work with you.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It is Raining Boxers!

12 x 12 Canvas © 2009

"Josie" ( see all proofs)
18 x 24 © 2009
"Poppy" ( see all proofs)
24x 24 © 2009
"Ace & Maggie" ( see all proofs)
20x 16 © 2009

This week I have been working on several Boxer dog projects. They are one of my all time favorite subjects and I have done many Boxers over the years. Sometimes I will have a cluster of specific breed orders come in at the same time. I always wonder if there is some magazine article or even blog post that generated such interest. Today I am finalizing Roxy.

A note to Holiday Clients:
Please let me know if you prefer to not have your artwork featured on the blog! I do not want to spoil any surprises if your recipient might happen to follow the blog.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Halloween Photos From Dog Trot

Hey guys check out our fun Halloween doggy pics from last weekend. Lola & I went out to the Dog Trot at the West Village and shot a lot of cute dogs in costume.

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