Portrait Marathon update: Phoenix is Done!

Whew!!  Phoenix is finished, and I’m quite pleased with how he turned out.  I’m impatiently waiting for it to dry enough so I can scan it to show you.

*drumming fingers*
*checking dryness, checking time, adding 3 hours for the east coast*
*drumming fingers some more*
*checking dryness, huffing in frustration, and going to get a beer*
*squinting at it at an angle to check dryness, dabbing on more paint, and huffing in frustration again*

H just came in, and he said, “It’s better than the photograph.”  *doing small victory dance*

Well, while I’m killing time (yours as well as mine!), I’ll talk about it a little bit.  After the last update, I needed to work on the background a lot, and keep detailing Phoenix himself.  I dabbed in some red and purple-y colors, like my sketch, and almost died.  Augh!  Ick!  Well, I wasn’t too committed to those colors anyway.  More blues!  Layering in cool and warm blues, lighter and darker, then adjusting the lighting in the figure to reflect the blue light, I kept playing back and forth between Phene and the background.

Yeay!  It’s dry enough.  Scanning now …

Meanwhile, I was really liking the blues, layered onto the other purple-y reds and some browns I’d also washed in there.  Then I remembered Robin’s comment here that Phene’s color is blue.  Bonus!  😀

Okay, you’ve waited with me, and ….


*Grrr!  Waiting for the picture to upload!!*
Oh, for pete’s sake!  What’s the hold-up??  😛
Uploading elsewhere ….
Honestly.  Sheesh.

Okay, let’s try this again.

Heeeeeeee-eeeeere’s PHOENIX!!

What do you think?  It’s okay, right?

portrait Marathon update: Phoenix progress – The Scary Phase

Before I get on with it, I just wanted to let you know that the finished portraits have their own gallery page on my website.

Okey dokey.  When we last met, Phoenix was in a lovely, watery blue period.  The scary part is then doing something that might wreck it, or at least send it into the Ugly Phase, which is so nerve-wracking.  So, I put it off by doing more blues for awhile, deepening the shadows, and darkening areas of the background.

But color would not be put off forever by all this blueing around.

Girding my loins, and dabbing tentatively into some reds and browns (“Those aren’t artist color names,” I was scolded recently), I began washing in the warm tones in the ears and eyes.

Gaining a little confidence, I began brushing in warmer tones in his body, and in select places on his head.
Okay, those don’t look too different, do they?  I’m such a chicken at this phase!  
But, onward!  I kept working, adding in more browns, deeper shadows, more detail.  I realized it was time to clean my pallet (there!  that’s good for a few minutes to start breathing again!), and get some more colors going.  Specifically, a cool red, and some pale yellows.  I had to wait for my paint to dry before moving on, so I thought I’d try to take a photo, and get you an update.  Sorry about the glare on the wet paint, but you can pretty much see what’s going on anyway.
It’s getting close!
Okay, it’s probably dry now, so back to work!

portrait Marathon update: Phoenix progress – The Blue Phase

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).

Looks like Delft, don’t you think?
I really almost hate to go past this point, it’s so pretty.  But, the final product should be worth it.  Maybe I’ll do a whole series just in blues next time!  What do you think?  *sigh*  
*prolonged pause for moony gazing*
Okay.  I’ll go ahead and wrap this up tomorrow.  To bed, now!

Holy Moley!

Life is change, so they say.  Well then, Xan’s Art is alive and kickin’! 

I’ve spent the last several days, and a good part of the nights, getting my site re-worked.  It needed some freshening up anyway, and I never had gotten around to filling up some of my portfolio pages, but the catalyst for getting it done now was so I could put up a bunch of prints for sale, hopefully to inspire some holiday giving. 

Technology is my frenemy!  😛  I am not code-savvy, my friends.  Nope.  So, I’ve been using Kompozer to design my sites.  I’m sure there’s a lot more it can do than I know how to make it, but all my web design ended up looking clunky, table-y, and static.  Then I tried using the WordPress blog provided on my domain, after searching for and installing a gallery-friendly theme.  I got that almost done, but the images in the gallery page were all cropped weird, and I was not happy with it at all.  My hubby, H, had iWeb on his Mac, which he used to re-do his own site.  I’d watched over his shoulder jealously, as he set up gallery pages with abandon.  That’s what I need, I decided! 

Unfortunately, my Mac is more, shall we say, mature.  His copy of iWeb wouldn’t install on my operating system.  So, first I had to upgrade to Leopard.  I nervously went through all that that implies (would everything on my computer be lost?  Why, oh why, do I not do regular back-ups?  How, oh how, is it that I have this many hundreds of gigs of stuff I do not want to lose??), only to find that it still wasn’t up-to-date enough.

So then I had to download the latest updates.  Have I mentioned we’re a bit out in the boonies?  We have satellite internet here, which is … just passable, but our bandwidth is limited in a 24 hour period, which I rapidly exceeded.  Actually, I did that just by forwarding my couple years of gmail account to my regular email account on the same day.  That means our internet is slowed to a crawl for the next 24 hours. 


So, I gave up until about 11pm, after which we are allowed to do large downloads for a few hours by our ISP.  I got the download of the updates started and went to bed, setting the alarm for 3:30am, so I could keep the download from overflowing into our next day’s bandwidth, if necessary.  My alarm didn’t go off, but the kitties woke me up anyway, so that’s alright.  The download was complete, but needed to be installed, so I got that started, saw it was going to take quite awhile, and went to stare out the window for awhile, kneeling backwards on the couch with my chin on the back, hands and feet tucked in for warmth.

That was actually kind of nice.  The moon had recently set, but had left a bit of glow behind, which picked up a wavey serpent of mist in the meadow by the pond.  It looked a bit like Nessie’s ghost, and I watched as the wind caused it to undulate slowly. 

I checked back, and saw the installation was going to take way too long, so I went back to bed.  A couple hours later, I was able to re-start the computer, and install iWeb, which also took a few hours! 

Finally, I was able to start working on my site.  Only to find that, typical of Mac software, it looks slick, but there’s only so much you’re allowed to get in and mess with the way things look or work.  In other words, I couldn’t make a sales page out of the fancy gallery pages.  I had to jimmy together a separate sales page with a good ol’ fashioned table inserted as an “html snippet”. 

Oh well.  It works.  And, it does look much slicker!  Go take a look and tell me what you think!

I’m going to bed.  It’s now 2:30am.