Monday, May 24, 2010

Maxine and Rudy

Wow! I can't believe where a month just went! Seems like I just got back from my workshop and was all excited to get started on some new paintings. Since I came back I haven't had any time to practice what I learned, at least not on new wildlife paintings, but I did use some of the techniques I learned on this latest commission.

This is a gouache painting for some special clients of mine of their past dog, Maxine, and their present dog, Rudy. That's one of the nice things about painting a portrait....we can create things that don't exist together in the same piece. Anyway, there is a lot of pattern in the coats of these two dogs. One of the techniques I learned was to create little windows out of paper, one for your reference photo and one for your painting. These little windows are used to isolate areas that you're working on that might have a lot of detail making it easier to see. When there is lots of texture or pattern in something it is sometimes hard for your eyes to focus on that area without getting lost. The windows help you to focus on a small area at a time so it's not so overwhelming. I used this technique extensively on this painting.

I presented this to my clients last week and they were overwhelmed. There were lots of tears and hugs as it brought back memories of Maxine ( the black dog) who was very, very special to them. I must admit that I get a little teary eyed, too, when my clients do because I can so easily remember the feelings of loss over a pet and it blesses me to know that I have done my job well when people get that emotional. Thanks to Jim and Nancy for the opportunity to create this special painting for you!

I am currently working on another commission that is a special anniversary surprise for some friends of mine so at this time I can't divulge the details as they might read about it here. I guess everyone will just have to wait until it's finished and presented to find out what it is! Good reason for you all to check back soon! Hopefully, after this one is finished I will finally get some time to start on these new paintings. I have been collecting reference material and sketching out ideas like crazy! So...time to get back to work and get this painting done!!