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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

What I Learned - The Red Collar

From 2007, a gallery stretched painting titled "The Red Collar." This piece has been in a private collection for many years (THANK YOU!). You can read about Harley, my muse, and the painting's seed of inspiration here, and then this post includes the story behind the painting's unveiling.

Artists are always learning and growing, and it's sometimes hard to remember that those who might be considered accomplished started out learning the same basics as everyone else. So, as requested, this week I'll share a few older paintings, along with a checklist of what I've learned since then.

First off, let me say that The Red Collar is a strong painting with a lovely mood as is. However, given the things I've learned the last few years, were I to paint it again (and I'm very tempted to!), I would change some things up.

1.  A direct light source would help accentuate the dog's beautiful form. He is very flat, and his lines are so lovely that I could have featured them more delightfully, and manipulating the light as it is painted is one way to do this.

 2.  I would put FAR more color in his body and merling than just the blues and grays. And the same goes for his whiter areas - adding just a hint of pinkness would make him more alive.

3.  There is no clear focal point, and choosing one (his face and paws? the collar? the inner edge of his body?) would improve the painting's focus.

4. I would handle the rug with more sensitivity and range of colors. There would also be reflections of that rug in his body - an object reflects it's environment. And a stronger indication that the rug itself is circular - that's an important part of the design.

5.  My lightest light would ONLY be inside his body. Don't care what the rug looked like or how bright it was in real life, the painting is about the dog's shape and how it drapes over the rug. So my lightest lights (and darkest darks) would be in the dog only.

There's lots of other things here, but I'll leave you with this short list. And I'll share a new old painting and tips tomorrow.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork,

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