Doberman Pincher WIP

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."

Portrait commission WIP of Lucy the Doberman Pincher

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!

Portrait Commission Contract

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.

Graphite Study and decision making.

When I start a commission project, I often create a preliminary sketch. Here, my client provided several photographs, with lighting so interesting, we could not agree which was our favorite. Hence, the vertical triptych idea came to be. This drawing, though time consuming, was critical in making  compositional decisions. It also allowed practice rendering. And as much as I love the concept, the piece ended up too big for my client, who preferred to go with the central cat shown in the sketch. Good thing I didn't just jump into the project without exploring options first. Now I'm left with this 11x 28" graphite on watercolor paper, just waiting for a frame.  Should I make the investment?

Brooklyn Blanket.

This is Linus again.  The reference photos were taken by his mom.  "Brooklyn Blanket" is 9x8" colored pencil on fabric.  It came from the same series of photographs  used to paint the previous posting "Brooklyn Light." And if you look back further in my blog you will find  a very poor photograph of a graphite study triptych done from the same series. The first, "Brooklyn Light," was a commissioned portrait, "Brooklyn Blanket" was created to use as an artist demonstration:  painting with colored pencils and slovents on linen mat board.  It will be published in September's issue of Ann Kullberg's CP magazine.

WIP For Ann Kullberg demo, CP on linen.

This is the 4th shot taken of my work in progress. I plan to use this to accompany an artist demonstration for Ann Kullberg's cp magazine this fall. I'm painting on linen mat board. So far no solvents have been used. This will probably end up around 8x10" The reference photographs were taken by my daughter of her cat Linus.

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