Paintings With Soul

Since October 2006 I've been a daily painter, creating a new pet portrait at least 5 times per week. Over the years I've expanded my offerings to include a variety of animals, pets, race horses, children and other treasured heirlooms. In addition, I accept a limited number of commissions each year.

In 2015 I am honored to be the Kentucky Derby Artist.

You may use the links below right to receive my daily paintings via email or to follow my blog with a feed. I post additional info, including in-process jpgs and other related information, on the studio Facebook page as well.

Meanwhile, thanks
so much for your continued support of my artwork.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gray (Stanley's Profile)


"Gray (Stanley's Profile)," 6" square, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel, one of two paintings starring this sweet little muse (the other one was shared yesterday). Inquiries may come to me.


I wanted to point out that while the nature of my subject matter dictates that I primarily work from reference photos, I make certain to also use artistic liberties to create a piece that is entirely new.

For instance, the background in the photo for "Gray" was dark and flat like the picture in the sidebar. Softening that background allows the viewer to notice all the other edges inside the painting, not just the profile edge. It also turns the eye into the focal point (since the eye now contains the largest area of the darkes dark).

I also relied on my visual memory to add details to the painting that were not present in the photograph. Hints of color inside the iris, a wash of pink underneath the lighter fur to warm up and refer to Stanley's skin, and a richer array of middle tones to five the fur density and interest, just to name a few.

In my book, there's far more to using reference photos than being able to copy them, hair for hair.

Off to a journalling class!

PS My client has a couple days to make up her mind, so if you are interested in either of the Stanley paintings (yesterday's or today's) please let me know and I'll keep you in the loop. Thanks!!

What Makes a Good Reference Photo?
Part II

I shared a few tips yesterday, and want to continue that thread today.

The animal does not have to be looking at the camera. Have a friend dangle a treat just outside the picture frame, and snap some shots.

Butt shots are entirely ok. Wagging tails or dogs trotting off translate to nice paintings.

Photograph black dogs in the shade on a sunny day - give it a try and you'll be delighted at the results!!.

Photos taken outside in the early morning and late evening have extra drama.

Don't place the animal between you and a light source unless you WANT a silhouetted shot.

And remember to turn off your flash!!

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