Bay WatchRead More
Here is Preston the Welsh Corgi, 12x14" colored pencil on linen, my reference photos. This was a custom portrait created for the best of clients who expressly encouraged me to paint whatever made me happy; thus the unusual angle and wet fur. The client, myself and her two dogs, spent hours walking and photographing at two different locations, until I had many beautiful reference shots from which to choose. My art needs a story and Preston provided one when he unexpectedly followed his housemate, a Labrador Retriever, straight into the river. Corgis are all chest and no legs. Preston had never been beyond wading. He sank like a stone, then bobbed to the surface. The swimming technique, newly minted, added to the hilarity of Preston's alarmed expression, but he arrived safely to the water's edge soaking wet and disgruntled.
Lucy is coming along. Her coat colors are a gigantic challenge. I have hundreds of colored pencils rolling around on the drafting table! The use of mineral spirits was crucial. Tweaking will come later. I am going to set this aside for a little while to work on something else. Plenty left to do, but I'm "Artist blind."
I'm having a little trouble with my rag mat board surface holding up to all the color pencil layers. One thing I've found: odorless mineral spirits when allowed to over saturate breaks down my surface. I've since switched back to good old regular mineral spirits, but the damage was already done. -Came close to starting all over, but was able to dip and dab color where needed. The detailing is just about impossible. Working fixative allows a little repair. Otherwise, the piece is coming along. I will never return to odorless mineral spirits. Thank goodness for windows and fans!
After many years of doing portrait commissions, I have just recently started to get serious about contracts. For the first decade or so, most of my patrons were local. Many were clients at the veterinary hospital where I was office manager. When the economy plummeted into recession, my portrait commission business slowed as well. I became very aggressive about using social media and internet to make sales. I don't always have the luxury to look a client in the eye. A contract helps both the client as well as the artist. It articulates possibilities that one might forget or be afraid to mention. It spells out the rules. And though it adds time to the initial process (I don't begin a project without both a signed contract and a nonrefundable deposit,) it reduces stress in the long run.
This wonderful Pitbull mix, was a rambunctious, sweet dog and represented the best personality traits of a much misunderstood bloodline. If this portrait sells, part of the proceeds will go to the SPCA ,where many of her kind wait to be adopted. This portrait would never have happened if not for the devoted couple who adopted her as a puppy.
Finished photoRead More