As I mentioned in my last post, I’m planning on being a vendor at a silken windhound event towards the end of next month.  However, I have nothing silken-related to bring!  So, I’ve been in panic mode to get stuff together (drawings, paintings, send those to printers for prints and cards, get prints and cards matted and packaged, get display prepared, get some kind of payment situation figured out, line up pet-sitter …).  That means I spent a few days staring at photos, talking to owners about permissions to use photos, combing the web for printer prices and display oddments, going window shopping for display furnishings, and generally being in a non-productive dither!  Anything but actual art!

Yesterday, I told myself, was to be a day of ART, gawrsh darnit!  Pick ONE photo, study and reinterpret it, then start painting it!

Sometimes that works.  😉

work in progress, silken windhound puppy
©Xan Blackburn, 2011

Luckily, this is one of those times!  I got two paintings up and running.  Well, H says one still looks, “nice and blank”, but that’s just ’cause he can’t see the faint pencil drawing on the toned panel via Skype (he’s on a business trip).

Here you can see where I’m at this morning on the first painting.  (This is a patched-together scan that didn’t get the whole 11 x 14 panel even in two passes, so there’s some photoshop re-creation involved.)  I started with a wash of deep green to give depth to the following layers, fading towards the top to create a misty horizon.  I washed in some pale yellow over all, including the sky, to give it some reflected warmth from the land below.  More yellow in the lower portions. I washed a very watery layer of white into the dog’s outlines, which I may regret doing.  I certainly regretted it when I had to paint around it for following layers of green and yellow, with more to come!  Then I glazed on some warm red, just a blush, to warm the dog and set it off from the background.  I followed that with just the beginnings of some payne’s gray shading, touching the nose and eyes, and moving around the form a bit.  I already kind of like the washy, ghosty  feel to this … but I’m going to move it along.

Can anyone of my silken windhound friends guess yet who this is?  Or who’s pup it is?


Over the weekend, my lovely step-daughter, Sarah Harris, asked me to design her a logo for her new business in Boise, ID; Derma-Luxe.  If anyone needs a skin spa day, look her up!  She wanted something to express sophisticated luxury, not too frilly, but definitely feminine.  Here’s what we came up with.  Sarah is joining the family tradition of entrepreneurship after years of training and experience in her field.  Go get ’em, Sarah!


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