I had to salvage a website that went down in flames today, which set me back. But Phoenix rises from the ashes! All cool blues (for the moment).
Some folks have expressed interest in the progress pictures, which I didn’t post for Quilty. So, we’ll go backwards in time here to get a look at how she ended up done.
Here’s the reference photo:
I have to start these by cropping the photo down to fill as much of the canvas as I can with the pet’s face. In Quilty’s case, that was pretty easy, since she’s face-on, nothing sticking out to the sides: fits well in a square.
Can you resist cracking up at this face??
Then, still in photoshop, I start messing around with lighting and background ideas, until I think I’ve got what I want.
Oh, and re-create the eyes if they’re blown out by flash, as Quilty’s were. In this case, I wanted to accent her barking, and … hm … how shall I say … ego-centrism (and I mean that in the nicest possible way!) with the concentric waves radiating from her head. But not too attention-getting. Just background. All this work in photoshop takes the place of painted sketches from “the olden days”.
On to the canvas. I draw onto the canvas, in blue, usually, then start painting the first layers. I wanted this one to have have that warm yellow everywhere except her face, which I wanted to really pop out. So, I washed in the yellow everywhere but her face, which I later washed in with the palest blue. Except for her hot, glowing eyes! Contrasting warm and cool areas helps to separate them in space.
Had a rough day here, with a sick kitty, but enjoyed being able to lose myself in Quilty’s bossy barking presence. She seemed to be demanding, “ME!! PAY ATTENTION! TO ME!!“
So, here’s Quilty, in all her bossy splendor.
Xan’s Portrait Marathon. n. An event during which an artist or artists produce portraits in a concentrated fashion over a set period of time. Participants submit photos for reference, and agree to purchase the finished portrait at a set price. Great fun for all! Fabulous gifts!
Here are the details:
This marathon will be a series of 10 (with the possibility of more, if I’m up to it) acrylic paintings on 5″ square canvasses, gallery wrapped around 11/2” deep sides for easy, frame-optional display. Because of the size, these will all be head-shots, to allow for detail and expression.
If you submit a photo (instructions to follow!), you agree to buy the portrait for $70 + shipping. Payment, by PayPal, to be complete before I can start work on your portrait.
I will go in the order photos are submitted, and that payment is completed.
- Choose ONE photo, clear and high-res, of any ONE pet (dog, cat, hamster, ferret …), attach it to an email. (tip: If you have a really big photo file, but it’s of the entire pet, crop it down to just the head, down to the shoulders.)
- The email should have your name and your pet’s name as the subject.
- Send the email to email@example.com with
- your name and your pet’s name
- any notes about your pet you want me to know, to help me choose a mood for the painting
subject: Humphrey Blackburn; Wabi
message: Hi, Xan!
Wabi is a little thing, mischievous and cuddly. Her favorite thing to do is eat dandelions. Attached is her photograph. Can you put some dandelions in the painting, maybe?
****Oops! Well, like a doofus, I’ve been sending out the paypal link when I acknowledged each arriving photo! *rolling eyes at self* You can hold off paying them ’til I ping you, or go ahead and pay them right off. Either way works. Main thing is, I can’t start painting ’til the payment goes through.