Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hilly - Australian Shepherd Pastel Pet Portrait

This experiment in painting a black dog was so difficult! After my initial block in, I started to feel like she was looking a little like "Blue" from Blue's Clues...that is to say, too blue/violet. I decided to regroup, warm up the darkest shadows, treat the highlights as a pale grey/blue, and use shades of gray/navy and a little siena for the midtones. Finally, made the background a more neutral taupe. And I was so worried about color, I realized rather late in the game that I wasn't getting a great likeness. Anyway, not a very satisfying outcome, but the best I can do. Lisa, hope you like it!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Black Dog (Work In Process - Pastel)

I decided to try painting a black dog today, to see the range of colors that could be used without looking garish and without it looking, well, just too black. I only worked on this a short while -- plan to finish it tomorrow. Hopefully it will turn out to be a nice portrait.

There are several unanswered questions at this stage...least of which is background color, but also color of the fur, highlights, etc. This dog is certainly more of a challenge than my Sheltie, with her colorful coat of brown, tan, black, grey and white--there are so many colors, figuring out a palette is a no brainer. Well, they say every painting is a learning experience...ain't it the truth!

Incidentally, this is my friend Lisa's dog Hilly (short for Hillary, named after Hillary Clinton, I think), an Australian Shepherd who is a big, sweet mush of a dog, except for her habit of hunting small animals. More than one little creature met their untimely end due to Hilly's hunting prowess. But her greeting is the best...wagging her little stub of a tail like crazy, and rolling over for a belly rub. And notice her distinctive ears; one up, one down. She's one of my faves.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Blood Oranges - 8" x 11" Pastel

Saw these pretty blood oranges in the market today. They look like oranges on the outside, except the peel is slightly redder. When you cut them open, they are a bright, deep red. With a name so full of drama, who could resist?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Flowers Pots in Tuscany - 12" x 18" Pastel

I started this painting last Tuesday and worked on it a few hours here and there over the past week, so technically this is not a daily painting. I just haven't had the time to paint for long stretches with any consistency, and this turned out to be a more ambitious undertaking than I thought. I think I learned that I really don't like such a busy subject, but it was a good exercise anyway.

David Darrow in his daily blog says to paint what you are not good at (in order to improve at whatever that is); well, flowers and landscapes are are a particular challenge for me...give me a figure to paint anyday!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Nothing But Net (Basketball) - 11 x 12" Pastel

Well, it's been a while...but I'm back on track. I can't believe that it's been a month since I've posted here. I painted on Tuesday for the first time in several weeks, and did my first daily of the New Year today. It felt so good to be painting again!

I decided that since I was a bit rusty, I would do a simple subject, and a basketball fit that bill. The skin tones in the hands were a bit of a challenge, and still look a little grotesque to me, so I may go back in and noodle with that a bit.

As far as subject, today's painting was the third painting of a group that I did for my husband's office. They all have a sports theme, and will look great hanging together. Since my hubby still plays basketball(at age 50), I knew he would like this one. (These days, however, you don't see a basketball in my house without hearing "Honey, where's the Advil?", so maybe I should have included a bottle of Advil in the composition!) Also, to be perfectly honest, I didn't take this picture, I found it on the internet in Google Images. Hopefully my interpretation makes it unique.