Portrait Marathon update: Quilty is done

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.

Heathers, I hope you enjoy the portrait!
I’ve got Saturday-ish things to do today, but I’ll probably get started on Number 4, Nancy’s Harry, sometime today.
Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!

Portrait Marathon Update: Celeste is Done

Celeste turned out kind of moody, kind of 19th century, I think.  I’m pleased.  I hope you like her, Laura!  🙂  Thanks for the opportunity to work out the unique challenges of this particular painting.  (I can say that now!  LOL )
I’m off to take a sick kitty to the vet.  When I get back, I’ll start in on … who’s next? … Ah!  Quilty!
Stay tuned!

Portrait Marathon Update: Celeste

Oh my goodness!  This one is a challenge!  A stripy dog lying in stripy sunlight.  *sigh*  I always say I should charge twice for brindles!  (But I don’t!)
Look at this lovely photo:

Here’s my sketch to work out an even more dramatic lighting (going back to my comic book coloring roots, here!) 
And here’s where we’re at so far. 
Well, gotta get back to it!  Wish  me luck.  

Portrait Marathon: Updates-Show is Done

Oh, I like this one!  So soft and silky-looking.  Here’s Show, all sleepy and comfy.

What do you think?  Want to just curl up with him (I do!)

That came out very small and fuzzy.  Hm!

Well, here’s a little detail of the eye area, just ’cause.

On to the next portrait: Laura’s Celeste.

Portrait Marathon: Sign ups imminent. This is a test!

I’m testing to see if people can upload their pictures here as comments.  Let’s see ….

Testing with Mylie, who “posed” for my Better Days show a few years ago.

Want to see what Mylie’s portrait came out like?

Mylie, NOT in a shelter!
(The Better Day show was a series of portraits of dogs awaiting homes in a shelter in my town.  Many of them were not lucky.  🙁  The show concept was to imagine them in Better Days.  Mylie, by the way, did find a home.  😀 )
This portrait is a good example of the approach I’ll be taking to this marathon, and the level of detail I expect to go for.
Interested?

Cara-Lea, thanks for helping out with the testing!
Here’s your pretty friend:

Sign-ups are not open, yet!  No need to try to post any pictures for the moment.  Full instructions will be in the next post, along with the announcement, so ….
Keep your eyes peeled!  ;D



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. 

*sigh* 

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.