Thursday, January 21, 2010

Black Chinned Hummingbird

Many of us are still in the grips of winter, though here in the valley where I live we are experiencing some very nice, springlike days. The sun was shining and I think it got close to fifty degrees today which made me start to think about the season ahead. So for my posting today I thought I'd share this wonderful little black chinned hummingbird all dressed up in his spring attire.

I photographed this little fellow in my lilac bush last spring while he was taking a rest from defending the sugar water feeder. He really had his work cut out for him as I had more hummingbirds than usual last year and they all wanted an extra sip of energy as they were making their way to their breeding grounds. I amused myself by standing tucked up against the lilac bush right next to the feeder and could feel their tiny wings zipping past my head as they dove in for a quick drink. It was great fun!! My husband thought I was a lunatic until they zipped in for a closer look at him in his red shirt. He never tried standing in the bush (I really can't imagine my 6'2" husband hiding in a lilac bush...hee! hee!), but he did take more interest in them after that.

This painting is a miniature just 4" x 6" and is painted in gouache. If you have an interest in bringing a little spring to your house a few months early you can contact me at and I'll have him zip right over.
(This item is SOLD)
I have also created ACEO art cards, and note cards with his image on them. They are currently available through my Etsy store along with other images of my work.
Thanks for looking and wherever you are today..... Think Spring!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Labradoodle #2 in Gouache

I just finished my first commission of the new year. This is a Labradoodle named Bailey. He's a fun loving fellow who lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys duck hunting, boating and spending lots of time at the beach with his favorite humans.

This painting is done in gouache and it's quickly becoming my medium of choice. I love the way it flows off the brush and it's opacity. Because it is such an opaque medium you can paint light over dark and dark over light. This really helps me when I have complex fur like the curly coat on Bailey. I can keep working back and forth over an area to achieve the texture, values and colors I need to bring his coat to life.

You may be noticing that I have more background in this painting. Usually most of my portraits have a very minimal background because I like to focus more on the animal. The folks who commissioned this wanted this scene because it's special to them, but I have also decided to start challenging myself to paint more landscapes and this portrait gave me a great opportunity to try that.

Hope you enjoyed seeing Bailey. Perhaps you'd like a pet portrait of your own or for someone special. They make awesome gifts! Just give me a holler and I'll be happy to paint something special up for you!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Whitetail Fawn (gouache)

Happy New Year!!
I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays as much as I enjoyed mine! I ate way too much food, laughed with friends and family and have just spent some time relaxing and reflecting on this season.

Of course, like everyone else, I am starting to make plans for 2010. One of my goals for this year is to start painting more wildlife. It has long been a dream of mine to be a wildlife artist. Wild and domestic creatures have always been a part of my life. I grew up surrounded by them and my first drawings were of animals... first my pets, then the wild birds and other critters that visited our property. Over the years I had gotten away from painting wild creatures and started concentrating on domestic ones, especially dogs. I have enjoyed that tremendously and will continue to paint them and offer my pet portraits. But now I'm feeling a strong urge to return to my first love and add that to what I'm already doing. is my first one for the New Year. I thought it appropriate to start with this newborn fawn as he represents new beginnings. This is a miniature painting, just 4" x 6" and done in gouache. I am particularly happy with the way this one turned out. The grass was quite a challenge to do as I struggled to get the depth it needed, but I think in the end it came together well.

Thanks for looking and wishing everyone the very best in 2010!!