Thursday, December 31, 2009

DSDF End of the Year Portrait Challenge

Approx. 5"h x 8" w, watercolor on board

Reference for "Dave"

Here is my painting for Karin Jurick's DSDF end of the Year Portrait Challenge. I chickened out last year, but was determined to take part for 2009. Karin got a huge response this year and it is very interesting to see the final pieces. Make sure you check it out!

My entry is done in watercolor and I really tried to use looser strokes and concentrate more on warm vs. cool colour to get my form. It was relaxing to do, probably because it isn't a commission and there wasn't the pressure to make it look exactly like someone. I pretty happy with the result :-)

And here's wishing everyone a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2010!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And now for something completely different...

"Walleye Strike"
12"h x 16"w Watercolor and Colored Pencil

Not my usual subject matter for sure, but doing this fish commission has given me a new respect for all those artist specializing in this genre. Fish have a lot of parts, fins, and gills and so on, and you have to depict it correctly because really serious fishermen know the difference!

And this was a commission for a serious fisherman; I needed to paint a walleye, going after a specific lure that has been a personal fav this fisherman for ages (hence the paint chips all over it!)

It turned out fairly well, and all were very happy with the finished piece.

I have tried to include a few steps of the process below. I did use Friskit to mask out the fish and painted the background first. After taking these pictures, I did enlarge and darken the 'black' spot at the bottom end of the dorsal fin, which is a typical walleye marking, along with the white spot on the tip of the tail.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dog Portrait - "Terry"

Watercolor and Colored Pencil, 8"wx11"h

Well the feasting is over, the prezzies unwrapped and the long afternoon naps taken, time to get back to doing some work!

Remember my "nose" post earlier this month? Well, here is the rest of "Terry"

Hope everyone is having/had a wonderful holiday!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dear Santa....

I hope everyone out there is reaching their Christmas finishing line! I am working on my final portrait, and will have a few to show once the season is over.

In the meantime, here's what's on my Christmas the future...

Almost 5 week-old blue picardy spaniel pups at Brighthope Kennels. We had a lovely visit, but I wasn't able to sneak one out under my coat--Vicki kept on counting them all to make sure none were missing!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Painted Ponies

The Trail of Painted Ponies had a special call to artists this month; to design a pony to be painted and auctioned off at the the 2010American Heart Association's Heart Ball in Washington,D.C. The theme was "Horses and Hearts" and "Take the Reins for Heart"

I submitted 2 designs;
One was a very whimsical, decorative pony entitled "Pony of Hearts"
Taking inspiration from carousel horses, but heavy on the hearts, I also gave a nod to the Native aspect of the Trail of Painted Ponies and embellished the saddlecloth with small iconic ponies.

The other was a more emotional piece, entitled "My Pony Reigns in my Heart"
This piece featured memorable horses / breeds that inspire us with their courage, bravery, persistence, willingness to help and partnership. There were so many great horses to choose from, but I narrowed it down to: the Thoroughbred (featuring Ruffian),the American Quarter Horse, the Polo Pony, the Show Jumper (and on opposite side) the lovable, kids' first pony, the Arabian, the Service Horse, working with Riding for the Disabled groups and Brigadier, a mount on the Toronto Police Force who was killed by a hit and run driver while on duty (Check out photographer Anne de Haas' great tribute to him).

The winning artist and figurine will be published on the TOPP website after Christmas.

In the meantime, my pony The Front Runner, is now available for pre-order. It is being offered as a Winter 2010 Figurine and as a collectible Autographed Figurine (Limited edition of 75). The actual ponies will arrive sometime in March and I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Nose Knows?

I promise I HAVE been working...although it may not seem so by looking at this blog!

I have a couple of commissions on the table right now and have just finished up a special project (Hopefully I can report more on that one by the end of the week).

And why the nose you might ask? Well, to prove that I have been drawing and painting, I have posted a portion of my most recent commission work, and unveiling the entire piece has to wait until after Christmas!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kitten Candy

"Kitten Candy"
5"w x 5"h
Colored Pencil on Pastelmat paper

This is the second of my whimsical Christmas still life. A little brighter, this ginger kitten is all decked out in her best green dress for Christmas, (as long as she doesn't get Candy Cane all over it!)

Kitten Candy is up for auction on Ebay!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"A Prezzie for Lizzie"

"A Prezzie for Lizzie"
5"w x 5"h
Colored Pencil on Pastelmat paper

Here is one of my whimsical Christmas still life completed.

She is beige-grey bunny dressed for Christmas in a mixture of dark browns, olive greens and reds with a touch of yellow thrown in.

This is colored pencil on Pastelmat, again just loving that surface for my pencils :-)

Miss Lizzie is up for auction on Ebay!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WIP - Christmas Cuties

Between Christmas commissions, I took a break and sketch out a couple of toy animals. These Christmas cuties will be finished off with color pencil on Pastelmat paper, similar to my previous Teddy bears. Hopefully, I can post the finished pieces by this weekend!

Monday, November 9, 2009


As my artwork decorates my studio and I only have so much space, I will be auctioning more pieces as we head into the Christmas Shopping season. I am posting two coloured pencil paintings, both done on Fisher paper.
If you are interested, please click on the link to go to my Ebay auction page. Thanks!


5.25" x 5.25" Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat.
Sells with neutral mat and is ready to frame (8"x 8" frame) or be custom framed.

This is a FIVE day auction. To view auction, click here.


4"x6" Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat
Sells with neutral mat and is ready to frame ( 5"x 7" or 8"x 10" frame) or be custom framed.

This is a FIVE day auction. To view auction, click here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Girl Power!

Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images-StlToday

No painting to post today; I've been out working for the last week and am playing catch up at my easel; however, I did take out time to watch one or two of the Breeders Cup races yesterday and am so glad I did! One of the most amazing races I have ever seen was the final race, The Classic.

The undefeated mare Zenyatta, was pitted against the boys and boy-o-boy did she show them!

The race itself was one that movie script writers would have trouble topping :-)
This big, lovely girl readies herself for the race with a strange hoof-pawing dance before each race. One of the commentators described it as pilates for horses.
A California-based girl, she is bold and full of herself and she loves her people.
The rest of the field is a stellar cast of racing's best boys including the Kentucky Derby winner, The Arlington Million Winner, and a host of European Champions.

Going into the gate, Zenyatta had some loading problems, changing her mind about cooperating at the last minute (such a girl!) She eventually goes in and then the field has to wait for Quality Road, who, quite simply, freaks out at the gate, kicking and bucking and eventually is scratched and is withdrawn.

From there the horses break, and Zenyatta is caught unprepared and breaks on the wrong lead, settling into last place, about 10 lengths behind the leaders. (For those that don't know what a wrong lead is, simply put, it is starting out on the wrong foot.)

Jockey Mike Smith settles her down and changes leads. Nothing happens for the first half leg the race then Zenyatta joins the party. Just after the half mile mark, Zenyatta shifts into gear and starts to cruise by the boys, picking them off one by one. Then, just before hitting the homestretch, Mike takes her outside the field and she just motors home.
Seriously, she was like a big old caddy smoothly passing a bunch of jockeys on Vespas (sorry boys)!
The power of this girl!

Anyway, don't believe me? Watch it for yourself (Zenyatta is a big dark horse with a yellow saddle cloth and the jockey is in Teal and link silks w/ a teal cap)

Yes, definitely the most exciting 2 minutes in sports. And that's my lengthy commentary for today :-D
I'll be back tomorrow with a lot less words and more paintings!!

Zenyatta "Pilate's" photo courtesy of Smile Politely Blog

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Passin' Thru

"Passin' Thru"
5"x 7" Watercolor on board

Here is my painting for this week's Different Strokes from Different Folks.

Karin challenged everyone with a rooftop landscape. While this isn't my usual subject matter, I did try it but just had to add an animal...I thought my lonely pigeon fit rather well :-)

I also made it a bit more challenging for me personally and limited myself to 3 tubes of paint: violet, yellow and cobalt green (The pigeon has a jewel drop of pure cobalt green on his neck, but you can't see it very well)

All in all, I was rather surprised at the result and might try painting it again in the future. Check out the DSDF blog to see the complete challenge and some of the really wonderful takes on this subject matter.

Friday, October 23, 2009

And now for something completely different...

5" x 5" mixed media on rag board

Here is the sort-of-Halloween-painting I have been fooling around with; a fantasy carousel pony entitled "Masquerade"

I have always doodled these little ponies and I wanted to finally try one as a little painting. This turned out to be a misture of watercolor and acrylic on rag board, which, for me, was not the best fit. I did have trouble with the smoothness of the acrylics on this surface, so I might try a smoother board or panel next time around.

I bet this would also be great to do on the computer, as a digital peice...hmmm...

This piece is at auction on Ebay. Click here to bid

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

'What's up Dach?'

"What's up Dach?"
4"x6" watercolor on WC paper

Here is the final painting of my little black and tan dachshund (my previous wip post showed only a portion of it). Great little breed full of character. I am mulling around with another painting idea based on this one but expanded, possibly as an entry for the Art Show at the Dog Show...we'll have to see how my initial pencils turn out.

This painting is available for purchase. Please contact me directly.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ACEO- Bulldog Sepia and Tints

"The Beautiful Bulldog"
2.5"h x 3.5"w Original Sepia Watercolour

I thought I would try and make a little ACEO to compliment my fuller paintings. This one is from my Bulldog painting, 'MY Ball,' posted on October 7th.
It is a closely cropped facial study, but instead of doing it in full colour, I painted it as a sepia print with some tints of rose for the tongue and the muzzle. I was quite pleased with it and so you'll be seeing this technique on a regular basis :-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Here is a quick peek at park of one of the little paintings I am currently working on. It will measure 4"x6" and is done in watercolour. No firm title yet, we'll see what develops as this little doxie painting nears completion :-)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bulldog painting - "MY Ball"

"MY Ball"
5"x 5" watercolor on board

Here is the finished bulldog; I really enjoyed painting him; wonderful stature, solid and how about that wonderful grin!

A side note to this painting; some bulldog aficionados may say that this guy is a little leggy, and they would be correct, as the [English] Bulldog breed as most people know it is a shorter and square canine. But this lovely fellow was a Victorian bulldog, which is a swing in breeding going back to the taller and smaller head type.

Whichever breeding you look at, I have met both these types and they are marvelous, personable and at times (dare I say) slightly stubborn dogs who are always greatly loved by their families :-)

He is available for purchase, so please post me an email, if you're interested.

Monday, October 5, 2009


WIP- Bulldog
5"x 5" watercolor on board

I've been painting like a fiend >:-)

Here's something I can show you (commissions are top secret until after Christmas)...
A work in progress of a lovely bulldog-- the finished piece will be posted later on this week and he will be for sale.

I am also trying to complete some Hallowe'en art...a little different, but still with animals. If it turns out, I'll post those as well. If it doesn't, well I have to invoke my artist's privilege to never show them to anyone!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Trail of Painted Ponies

"The Front Runner"
Comp for figurine reproduction

I have some great news to share;
This summer, I entered a "Call to Artists" put out from the Trail of Painted Ponies. The theme was the Art of Horse Racing.

Well, I'm happy to announce that my design, The Front Runner, finished "first by a nose" (yeah, we put together a bad pun) and is going to be reproduced as a figurine! I am thrilled to say the least-- the people at TOPP have been great to work with and am looking forward to seeing the process of taking a 2d design to a 3d one.

Check the full results-- first, second and third place!

The Trail of the Painted Ponies is one of the premier fine art and collectibles companies in the world, in its sixth year of crafting one of the most beloved collectibles in America. It began as a Santa Fe based public art project that invited artists to let their imaginations run wild and transform life-size fiberglass horse sculptures into wonderful original works of art. The response was overwhelming and lead to the reproduction of these originals in a smaller, collectible form.

While The Trail of Painted Ponies is well known for their collectible figurines and books, they are also dedicated to supporting the arts, education, animals and the environment. To date, The Trail of Painted Ponies has proudly raised over 1 million dollars to support many worthy non-profit organizations.

Link to how The Trail of the Painted Ponies all began
Link to the Official Site with links to the many ponies available and 'retired'

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Miniature- Birman Cat Portrait

Blue Lynx Birman (TJ)
3"x 3" watercolor on board

I am currently working on some Christmas commissions, so I can't show anything...just in case...however, here is another small portrait sample, this time of one of my menagerie, our blue lynx Birman, CH Gwindors Year of the Tiger, otherwise known as T.J. .
And yes, his eyes are that blue :-)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Miniature - Pony Portrait

Miniature Pony Portrait
3" x 4" Watercolour on board

I am at a one day fall show tomorrow, so am really pressed for time and I just wanted to post the final miniature pony portrait I started earlier this week.

I'm sort of pleased with the result, my sticking point being the background. If I had to do it again, I think I would changed the colour to a lighter, more muted blue. It seems to be fighting with the pony for presence right now.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Guinness!

A little off topic today...

While I'm not Irish by birth, I am by marriage ;-) and therefore will pay hommage to that great Irish icon; perfection in black and white, the Guinness pint.

Happy Birthday Guinness!
250 years young!

Non-Guinness paintings will return tomorrow...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thank You and Miniature WIP

WOW! I am floored with the great responses I got from visitors! I really appreciate the time that everyone has taken to leave such wonderful comments--Thank you so very much!

There were so many fabulous cupcake renditions, I wasn't sure what to do... then I saw "my painting" when a visiting dog friend struck the appropriate pose while I was preparing dinner. Multiply by two and there it was! Really fun to do Too!

Now I would like to take the time to thank Karin Jurick for sharing her beloved Jack with us and starting such an interesting challenge blog to begin with.

Next up on the easel is this miniature pony portrait. Look for the finished painting later this week.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


4.5"w x 5.5"h Watercolour on board

I have been busy with some commission work and a special project (more news coming soon!)

I managed to squeak in with a painting for the Different Strokes for Different Folks challenge. While I finished it tonight, I was late in sending it off to Karin for you might see it there or you might not. It depends on how busy Karin is to deal with us tardy artist ;-)

Anyway, this is a cute little painting that I am sure all of you dog lovers out there can identify with...

And a little thank you to my husband, who cleverly came up with the title!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Miniature - Malamute

"Northern Light"
2.5"w x 3.25"h
Miniature watercolor on WC board

Here is another new miniature; a portrait of a gorgeous, happy Alaskan Malamute. Not sure of her name, we met her on a walk one afternoon at the park, so I am using a working title of "Northern Light"

This piece is available for purchase. If you're interested, please contact me directly :-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mini Boxer- A Bit of Regal Grace

A Bit of Regal Grace
Miniature Watercolour,
2.25"w x 3.5"h, completed size 5.5"h x 7.5"w

Wow! It has been a long summer, but school is back in full swing and I have a new painting to share!

I am getting ready for a few fall shows and wanted to introduce people to a Pet Portrait in Miniature. So I took my painting "A Regal Grace" and recreated 3.5"x2.25"
It is shown above in a small frame, complete size 5.5"w x 7.5"h, ready to hang or display on a small, tabletop easel.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Puppy Sketch

Well, I'm still here; got some sketching in but no finished paintings. My hat is off to all those daily/semi weekly painters who consistently come up with such beautiful work!
It isn't happening here :-D

We'll be on holiday soon, and with a gang of people around, I think I can sneak off to do some painting, so be prepared when I get back!

For now, here is a little sketch of the lovely Journey, who has brightened our lives for the last 3 weeks! She sure is going to leave a empty spot in our lives when she returns home....

P.S. Because I don't think my sketch did her great's Journey via our digital camera!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back on the radar!

It is crazy how fast this last month has gone...I literally have not had time to post, let alone get to my art board for any length of time.

I was working during the month, had summer camps and play dates to drive kids to and took care of a few summer projects with my husband (or should I say I directed them).

Sadly, we also lost a two very dear four-legged friends this month through quick and totally unexpected occurrences. We miss them dearly and are still somewhat shocked.

But I do have some good news this month...we are puppy-sitting! One of Suede's daughters has come to stay for a little summer vacation. She is adorable and constantly on the go, I have a few good pics and will try to put them up tomorrow.

For today, I leave you with a little sketch I did of our old Airedale, Duke.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Miniature Painting-Chipmunk

"The Berry Thief"
2.75" x 3.25" Watercolour on board

Here's something to help us welcome in the summer season!

"The Berry Thief" is a miniature painting that I have been working on.
The scan is a little off, colour wise and I have some additional work to do, but I need to step back for a few days to see what has to be fine tuned.

Just to clarify, this is what I would consider to be a true miniature. This would meet the miniature requirements that many miniature artist strive to maintain:
•Minute in scale vs. life-sized. (Generally subject matter is 1/6th lifesize or smaller in scale)
•Delicate and painstaking technique that withstands magnification.
•Small in format and size. 25 inches or less for surface area.
•High in quality~ demonstrates a mastery of composition, color, values etc.

I have posted ACEOs here as well and although they are the correct size to be a miniature, I don't believe that my ACEOs are detailed and composed enough, to be a true mini
{Note: Please understand that I am referring to my work, and not all ACEO painters in general}.

For more info, check out Assocation of Miniature Artists and the Hillard Society for more information and additional links.

And if you want to see some great miniature artists (to name a few), check out:
Tracy Hall,
Wes and Rachelle Siegrist,
Linda Rossin,
Bill Mundy
Gina Morton
Joy Kroeger Beckner

Happy Summer :~)

Thursday, June 18, 2009


4"x6" Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat

This is a very peaceful drawing; Cat+Sun=Sleep

A big, furry, red marmalade cuddled in his basket for his afternoon nap.

Don't we all wish life was that simple?

Click here to bid (Bidding ends June 25th @ EST)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ACEO "Sunday Best"

"Sunday Best"

ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" watercolour on HP paper

Okay, so it seems I am developing a little theme here...but this time it's Miss Kitty instead of huggable bears, although I think she is just as adorable, and all decked out in her finery. For church perhaps or a Tea Party :-D

I changed mediums here; this ACEO done in watercolour. I am trying experimenting with the pastelmat and coloured pencil at this size, but am still having a bit of a difficult time getting the detail I want. Might have to stay with slightly larger sizes with the pastelmat.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Very Sage Bear

"A Very Sage Bear"
5"x5" Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat

These teddy bears are talking.

I swear.

Each time I go into my studio, my reference pics of them call out to me..."Draw me, draw me..."

Here is "A Very Sage Bear...." Enjoy!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Black Lab on Pastelmat

5.25" x 5.25" Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat
Available- Please contact me

Well, here is the final piece! I quite pleased with the way it turned out, and with that gaze, I couldn't think of any other title for this sweet and loyal lab than 'Soulful'

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WIP-Black Lab

5"x5" Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat

I am working on another coloured pencil piece using the Pastelmat paper...really , really liking this surface, what can I say!?

Here is my black lab so far, and I apologize for the lack of eyes... (some people hate this part of a painting ) This lab is sitting in the afternoon sun on a wooden floor, so we're going to get some lovely reflected light happening in the shadows, which is a good thing, as black shadows can get dense and flat without some sparkle to them :-)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Paper Fun- Fisher 400 and Pastelmat

When I woke up this morning I took advantage of a still quiet house and drafted up my post for today, planning to scan the images in the evening. Between then and now, I had a chance to take a quick peek at some of the blogs I follow and, to my surprise and delight, saw that both Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint) and Katherine Tyrell (Making a Mark Reviews) had also chosen today to post paper reviews! Ah, the mysterious workings of the blog world....
So, here are my thoughts on both papers and don't forget to check out Gayle and Katherine's posts as well (And a very gracious thank you to Katherine for mentioning my work in her post!)

Referencing an old painting, I did small (6"x8") arab head studies on both surfaces. Overall, I think that both papers are great supports, and I will give a little of my feedback BUT, (here's the but), please take into account that I only used Faber-Castell and Berol Prismacolor coloured pencils on these surfaces. Other mediums may work differently with the surface, so I would still urge anyone interested to get some samples and try them out with your own mediums and techniques. :-)

A fairly firm, hard surface. The mat is a card stock weight, textured on one side. It took loads of layers and the texture stood up well to pencil pressure. Circular strokes, directional strokes or flat colouring worked equally well on this paper. The colour went on true, but not as vibrant as on the Fisher paper. I liked the fact that I could blend with a stiff brush or stump, but finger blending didn't work well here.
I could also burnish surfaces with lighter colours, giving areas a glazed look, which helped in graying down or brightening up colours. For another use, this surface easily handled a light application of solvent to melt and blend colours (not shown on Arab Head study left)

Fisher 400:
Lighter, more paper-like, This paper works well taped down onto a board for support. The texture is similar to extremely fine sandpaper. My pencils went on super creamy, and the surface ate them up quickly. Quite a lot of dust created as well, which is something I am not used to and had to take extra care in keeping my work surface clean.

The colours blended wonderfully, and went on vibrant and bright. The surface took a number of layers before becoming saturated, and it was good to see that any saturated area did not take on a "waxy" look that I have experienced before.
Textured held up well to pencil pressure. Colours were easily blended with brushes (use softer ones than on Pastelmat), stumps or fingers. This surfaced worked better for me when I used strokes to fill in areas as opposed to circular strokes or flat colouring.

It was nice to change up what I have been doing and play with these surfaces, which I might remind everyone, are NOT available in Canada

I ordered both from the TSC company in Britain. First time dealing with them and I was very happy with the service and product, but be prepared to pay for the shipping :~)
If you can place an order with another artist or group of artists, it would be more economical and TSC currently has a sale on the Fisher 400 .

Other Artists:
Please check out these other artists who have used both papers and have their own reviews on them:

Nicole Caulfield -who creates amazing (and large scale) portraits and still life coloured pencil paintings with Fisher paper and Derwent coloursofts pencils.

Gayle Mason - who just put up her own review with some beautifully done cat paintings. Her pieces show (much better than mine) the detail one can achieve.

Mary Hubert- who works exclusively on Fisher 400 now, and has a paper review page. And don't forget to check out her amazing demo videos

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New paper-Pastelmat

"Teddy Bear Blue"

Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat 5.75" x 5.75"

Here is my next pencil painting using my new papers, the Pastelmat.

This little still life was taken from some of my old reference material. Way back when.... I had the opportunity to illustrate some wonderful hand-made stuffed animals and got a few of them on loan. I took reams of pictures but unfortunately the job never panned out. They all were beautifully made though, even their clothes were especially sewn/knitted for them!

I am going to try another painting, but use both papers this time to show the difference, although right from the get go, I can tell you I love this pastelmat :-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Papers and Blogging Award

I've been experimenting with some new papers I ordered recently; Fisher 400 and [Clairefontaine] Pastelmat. Neither are available in Canada (from what I could find out), but I was able to order them through the Creative Support Company.
The CSC were great to work with, I was billed through Paypal, making it easier for me, and the package came quickly and in great shape; no bends!!

Above is a small Ragdoll study done on the Fisher400 with coloured pencils. I am limited on time today, but will expand more on the paper and my progress tomorrow :~)

I would also like to thank the multi-talented Linda Shantz for awarding me a Passion for Painting Award! Thanks very much Linda! It was a pleasure to be included in your 30 horses/30 days project! One of my favourite paintings was this one on day 7... can't help but stop, smile and mellow out when I see this peice!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Painting:0 , Nature:1

Painting is not going seems very laboured and difficult. I'm trying to finish a new piece for the upcoming AAEA deadline, but maybe it is not going to happen. Sometimes starting over with another composition works, or failing that, I can always blame 'spring fever.'

Speaking of which....

We went out this weekend for a run with the dogs (our friend Bronwyn was staying with us) and wandered through the farm section of our provincial park (dogs were leashed here!)

I was lucky enough to capture this picture and I had to share...

Remember, Bronwyn is a Great Dane, a breed that was bred for guarding and boar hunting. Maybe she wouldn't have been that great at it!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Miniature-Portrait of Bronwyn

"Bronwyn" NFS
2.75" x 4.75" Miniature watercolour portrait

This is a small portrait I did of a very special girl...Bronnie is a black great Dane and is a frequent visitor to our home. She is loving and sweet and gets along with everyone. As I was painting, I noticed I had left the camera on my desk so....

I begin by drawing my subject in pencil directly onto watercolour board and lay a pale red/pink wash to one side. As Bronwyn's collar is a pinky-red, I want this colour to peek through the background in places as well, for a cohesive look.

Cutting in carefully, I lay a wash of greens/blues and burnt sienna behind Bronwyn, coming back and floating in water and/or extra colour where necessary. I didn't use any masking fluid here because of the size. I can get a better outline by just painting.

After my background is completely dry, I start blocking in shadows with warm and cool blues. I also lifted some of the background colour out, as it was looking a little too dark.

Now I build up the colour of the dog with a variety of black and blue washes. Some are cool and some are warm, and I concentrate on what parts of the painting need to come forward or fade back as I apply them.

Now I just generally continuing on with washes and blending, building the colour to where it should be. When painting, I take short breaks and will often look at the painting in a mirror to see what is and what isn't working. Right now, I don't like the way her right jowl is pudging out at the bottom and I think her left ear is a bit too short. By lifting paint (with clean water) and adding washes, both these areas are corrected.

I now finish off the collar, touch up the dog overall with some additional blending and lifting. With the collar now painted, I wanted to see a few more rosy spots in the background, so I lightly laid in some small washes, and that's about it.
I'll come back and take one last look, pass it by my father/son critique panel and if all is good, sign and frame it :-D