#12 2014 Portrait Marathon: Feyd the Silken Windhound

Continue reading #12 2014 Portrait Marathon: Feyd the Silken Windhound

#4: Cash’s Portrait

"Cash"  8" x 10"  acrylic on canvas panel © Xan Blackburn
"Cash"
8" x 10"
acrylic on canvas panel
© Xan Blackburn

Chris' greyhound, Cash, at age 10, is on her second life!  That's pretty good for a spooky grey, I'd say!  She had a bad reaction to routine shots, actually died, but was brought back to life - a modern-day miracle!  And, a gorgeous, blue-brindle gal, to boot.

Cash's portrait is painted on a canvas panel, which is a very big switch from the much smoother Aquabord panel I used on Red's portrait, right before this one.  The rougher texture was a nice change, though it makes getting good pictures tricky.   Let's see how we got to stage: Done!

Cash, original reference photo
Cash, original reference photo

Starting with this reference photo ...

Cash, work in progress stage 1
Cash, work in progress
stage 1

Once my drawing was ready, I dove in with Payne's gray for the underpainting.

Cash, stage 4 almost there ...
Cash, stage 4
almost there ...

This is where I left it last night, with some serious tweaks, and lots of fine-tuning to do, but generally close.  Notice the lighting changes between this and the final version, especially on the right side of her face.

Cash, altered reference
Cash, altered reference

I cropped, played with the lighting a little, made the bed a little more luxurious, but removed the pattern that I felt would compete with Cash's subtle stripes.

Cash, stage 3
Cash, stage 3

The underpainting is well under way, here.

Unfortunately, the photos I attempted of the early color phases just did not come out at all, so you'll have to content yourselves with a big jump here.

"Cash"  8" x 10"  acrylic on canvas panel © Xan Blackburn
"Cash"
8" x 10"
acrylic on canvas panel
© Xan Blackburn

Truman

Truman
11″ x 14″, Acrylic on Canvas
copyright 2014 Xan Blackburn

Truman … I loved this big boy.  He was my first big greyhound crush who was not my own dog. 
I rarely get to meet the subjects of my artwork, but Truman and his family are friends I’ve visited with all up and down the west coast.  When he passed last year, it was a blow to everyone who loved him (which is the same group as everyone who ever met him).  Lori asked me to do his portrait, and I jumped at the chance to share this tribute with her.  But wow.  It was tough.  I was choked with emotion, the need to do him justice, and got stuck a lot along the way.  There are only a few progress pictures, because when I finally got going, I didn’t stop to take pictures.
Truman – work in progress, stage 1
starting the under-painting
Truman – work in progress, stage 2
crawling forward on the underpainting
Truman – work in progress, stage 3
getting a handle, developing the underpainting

Truman – work in progress, stage 4
most of color is laid in, developing detail

If you look at them closely, you can see how I had to re-adjust his eye focus as I went along.  Other than that, everything went forward pretty much as planned from the start.  

I will miss gazing into those almond-colored eyes, as I know Lori is also missing her blue-brindle coyote hound ever-puppy.

Portrait Marathon: Tex, #17

Tex
Acrylic on Aquabord, 5 x 5
© Xan Blackburn

Handsome, lovely, almost ethereal Tex!  His mom is a wonderful photographer, an artist in her own right, and I’m honored that she trusted me with interpreting one of her own images.

Despite a number of distractions today, and the fact that it’s Day 19 of the marathon, and I’m pretty bushwhacked  Tex’s portrait came together with a peaceful feeling of joy throughout.  Maybe his calm look soothed my rattled nerves, despite listening to the news reports of the school shooting ever hour, despite the cabin-fevered dogs getting into things every few minutes, despite my husband being in far-off Ghana for business.  It was like listening to “Silent Night” while death metal raged in the background.  Ah, holidays in the U.S.!

So, thanks, Tex.  Thanks Petra.

Tomorrow, the penultimate portrait, Robin’s Iker.

Tex – in progress
© Xan Blackburn

Portrait Marathon: Hannah, #15

Hannah
acrylic on canvas, 5 x 5
© Xan Blackburn

Hannah Banana!  I’m told that she was getting told off right before the reference picture was taken, which explains the look in her eye to begin with.  Goodness knows what the little trouble-maker had gotten into!  I decided to give her a little more relaxed look however, as you can see in the progress pics below.  With her pink collar, and her softened brindling, I couldn’t resist a sort of sunset range of colors in the background.
Pretty Hannah!  Now, stay out of trouble, young lady!

Next up is Liza’s 6Pac, a break in the greyhound pattern, but still a hound.  A hound of a different color, you might say.

Hannah in progress
© Xan Blackburn

Portrait Marathon: #12 – Wookie

Wookie
acrylic on canvas, 5 x 5
© Xan Blackburn

Wookie, a rescued borzoi who has blossomed in his loving home, is dear to my own heart.  His story could almost be that of my own girl, Katie (rescued from an awful “shelter” in S. Korea).  Like my own Katie, Wookie’s self-confidence is still a little shaky, but with the love surrounding them, can only grow.

I had to do some rearranging on the list over the weekend, so if you’re following along and confused … join the club!  LOL  Looks like I”m going to make it all the way through the list, though, so that’s good!    Here’s who I have left, in current order:

  • Jan Buckwalter
  • Rebecca Rohrbeck
  • Tena Keefe
  • Liza Lopez Ortiz
  • Petra Postma
  • Robin Waldman
  • Darlene Young
At this point, Darlene is the only one I do NOT have photos for yet.  I hope you’re getting those ready for me, Darlene!  😉
Alrighty.  I think I’ll take a break for the night, and set to work fresh on Jan’s Fletcher in the morning.
In the mean time, here’s Wookie, in progress …
Wookie, in progress
© Xan Blackburn