Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ready for Mischief

4 x 4"
oil on panel
click here to purchase
 I was recently told that some experts believe that tuxedo cats are among the smartest domestic house cats. Perhaps that explains all the mischief that our tuxedo gets into. If you are smart and your brain is not being engaged enough, you go looking for entertainment or trouble. We obviously need to entertain this tuxedo more often but believe me, it is on my daily to do list. He already has a front row seat for the bird feeder that gets filled daily with safflower seeds. He has toys all over the house. His favorite toy is a knitted mouse that my sister handmade. It moves daily. He has a climbing tower and a big brother. When we get a decent size box in the mail, I cut peep holes in it so he can have a playhouse. But I know I could do more.
Don't get me wrong, we love him. He greets us at the door every time we come home. He brings us his mouse almost every night. If you sit down to watch TV, he melts into your legs. When you take a shower, he is waiting for you when you get out (loudly if you shut the door with him on the other side of it). He wants to be brushed daily, in the bathroom sink.
 How do you entertain your cats?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gimme Some

Gimme Some
6 x 6"
oil on panel
This is Jasper and his "Gimme Some" face. He is a frisky dog. When his owners were deciding on a reference photo for his custom pet portrait, this photo (see below) most captured his personality and won them over. It was definitely a pose that I had never worked with before but I think the resulting painting is filled with personality. While working on the painting, I noticed a few issues with the photo that I did not want to repeat in the painting. First of all, Jasper's front paws are on his owner's knee and you can see her foot and slipper. Because the slipper is the same color as Jasper, it looks like one of Jasper's legs. Only, that stance would be impossible. If I painted the slipper, Jasper would look like he had 5 legs or a really wide backside, not a good thing. To remedy that, I omitted her foot/slipper and carried the hardwood floor color to the left side of the painting. That also served to unify the floor and let me warm up the dark background.  The next problem was the almost black shadow cast by Jasper and his toy. Shadows are frequently rendered much darker by the camera than they appear in real life. The last issue that I wanted to address was Jasper's blue pupils. The beauty of paint!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Daily Drawing 2015

One of my New Years Resolutions was to draw daily. I am thrilled to say that I have drawn daily for all of 2015 and plan to continue. That is at least until my husband or cats revolt. Here are several of my sketches from the past few weeks.
Roger reading, ink
My other hand (a frequent model), ink
At the airport, pencil
Blind contour and quick sketches in pencil share the page with John Singer Sargent's Repose at the National Gallery of Art
Degas sculpture, Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, pencil, the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Husband in ink on cardboard that came with his Valentines Day gift. Yes, I actually wished him a happy Valentines day and then immediately asked to draw him. He is such a good husband.
In reference to yesterday's post about my painting transcription, I confirmed that the finished painting will be 21 x 33 squares or 31.5 x 49.5"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Painting Homework Spring Semester 2015

 Adoration of the Magi by Hans Memling (c. 1470) 
My BFA painting and drawing homework frequently includes masterwork transcriptions. The instructor doesn't want an exact duplicate, he wants us to take the time to really study the painting. In my Advanced Painting class this semester, I am transcribing a painting by Hans Memling called Adoration of the Magi (pictured above with a portion of a gridded copy showing). I decided to grid the painting into 0.5" squares and transcribe those onto 1.5" squares on a piece of canvas tacked to the wall, just outside of our classroom. I set a few rules for myself. Rule 1: No more that 2 colors of paint per square. Rule 2: Squares that touch each other cannot be the same color. That means that even thou the manger is basically one color, I won't paint it that way. I do plan to keep the transcribed paint value close to the original. The goal is to mix colors and end up with a cool looking transcription. I have posted some progress photos below.
26 squares painted on entire canvas
close up of the first squares painted
56 squares painted
more squares painted
current state of the painting
As you can see, I've got a few more squares to go. But, I am almost done with the manger. Next comes the fun part, the people! Stay tuned for more progress reports. Off the top of my head, I think the finished painting will be 31.5 x 49.5"

Saturday, January 10, 2015


6 x 6", oil on panel
What can I say about a face like this that has not already been said? Sweet Tonka passed away at a very young age but I bet he got everything he wanted in that short time. I mean, who could say no to that face?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New for 2015

Herb and Adam
10 x 8", oil on linen panel
I finished this commission in 2015 but I intended to finish the it during the last couple weeks of 2014. The daunting task (poor quality reference photo plus a figure) led to procrastination. I even drew out the composition a full week (may have been two) prior to applying paint to the canvas. But, now that it is done, I am not only relieved but feel like I can handle the next one. Speaking of 2015, I made a resolution to draw every day of 2015. Seven days into the year and I am going strong. Below is a little collage of my 2015 daily drawings. If you look closely, you can see that several of them start with a drawing of one of our cats and end up with an unfinished drawing of a cat, a cup, or my facial features. Max and Carlos have no respect for the words sit or stay.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Who Hops There?

6 x 6"
oil on panel
click here to buy
Using a limited palette of Titanium White and Torrit Grey on a panel toned with Quinacridone Magenta, I painted this little bunny figurine. He is one of those vintage, sort of fuzzy, Easter decorations. He looked at me when I was searching for a white object to paint. He is a nervous little dude!