Friday, April 27, 2012

Hereford Cow at Tillamook, OR

This is a small cow painting I just finished today of a Hereford cow that I photographed in Tillamook, OR, near the cheese factory there.  It was a fun, beautiful day, and I photographed a lot of farm animals, many of which I've already painted.  This girl was really suspicious of me and my camera but curious enough that I managed to get a few shots of her before she took off to a safe distance.

I'm going back to the Coast next week, so I'll be getting some more good images to be painting.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pit Bull Puppy Painting

This is a painting of a little pit bull puppy that I just finished yesterday.  It looks just like one I used to have, named Edwin.  This little guy's name is Charlie, and he's one of the paintings I've done for someone who knows that I don't like to do custom, commissioned paintings but that I will paint your dog for you, but I get to make all the decisions -- and I charge less.  Otherwise, it's just like a commissioned painting, but the pressure for me has been lightened, not removed, just lightened.  I don't guarantee to paint every photo submitted to me, but I do my very best to do so.  

The person whose dog this is chose to purchase the painting, but there is no obligation to purchase anything at all from me.  I just need good images of dogs to paint, and I don't have the time to go out and find dogs to photograph and paint on my own all the time.  So it's a win-win situation for all of us.

Hope you like this one.  I think pit bulls are such beautiful dogs.  Headstrong, yes.  Mean, no more than any other dog I've ever had -- which in my case is never, never, never.   You've heard it a million times, and it's true:  Mean or bad dogs come from mean or bad owners.  And the reverse is true, too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bichon Frise Portrait 20 of 30 Daily Paintings

This is a little bichon frise painting I did for a regular customer recently.  I said I wasn't going to do any more custom work, but she was a multiple repeat customer, so I couldn't say no.  Plus, she was getting for a relative who had recently lost the dog, so that made it even more important that I do it for her.

It always makes me so sad to do a painting of a dog that is gone.  Even with the still-around portraits I do, I become very emotionally invested in painting the dog's (or other animal's) portrait.  When I know the dog is gone, it makes doing the painting much more emotionally difficult.  It's such a shame that our best four-legged friends live such short lives compared to ours.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Yorkshire Terrier 19 of 30 Daily Paintings

This little yorkie was a small painting I did for a regular customer. I think I'll probably go back in and fluff up the body hair a bit and tie it to the head by color a bit more, too; but otherwise, I really like it.  That's one problem I've always had with Yorkies:  their face colorations are almost always very different from their bodies, and in paintings, it looks like two different dogs were stuck together.  I'll post the change - if it's significant - after I do it.

I feel I've been learning so much since I've started my daily painting challenge (and, yes, I realize that I'm behind schedule, but it's my challenge and I'm in charge of it).  It's also given me a great sense of discipline, too, much more than I've ever had before.

Especially when I'm having a tough time making myself go to the easel, I set a timer for 15 minutes and tell myself that that's all I have to paint this session, just 15 minutes.  About an hour or so later, I finally decide to take a break for a while.  Works every time.

Starting paintings is easy, and I move along very happily confident in my abilities.  Then I reach that middle part of the painting, where everything looks pretty darned hopeless (but I know every one of my paintings has to go through this, and they usually come out the other end just fine).  This period is when I most need to push myself to keep coming back to the easel, even when I'm afraid.  Then finally I get through this stage, and the sailing is pretty smooth through to the end -- unless I decide that it needs just one more little touch-up -- then one more, then one more, etc.  That's when I really get into trouble, and that's one thing I've learned with these daily paintings, is when the put the brushes down.