Category: Portraiture

Spring Art Show

Well, it’s finally time.  Tomorrow the Lakewood Artists Guild will be accepting submissions for the 2010 Spring Art Show held at the Community Center at Mayfair Park.  I have two pastels and two watercolors that you have already seen  in previous posts, but I thought I’d show them framed and ready to go.

Almost a Rose   5 X 7  Watercolor

LA Fall    5 X 7   Watercolor

Birches      8 X 10   Pastel

Shih Tzu    8 X 10   Pastel

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Shih Tzu in Pastel

I decided it was time to show another painting process.  I plan on having some animal and children’s portraits in my booth at the Pan American Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show and will be soliciting commissioned portraits.  It will be interesting to see what happens.  You can never tell when you enter an outdoor show like this whether there are any buyers coming through or just lookers.  I don’t mind lookers…..I do it too!

Above is the original photograph that I worked from. It was rather small, about 2″ high.

First, I  lightly draw the subject (today I used a regular lead pencil, but usually I use a pastel pencil), then put in the basic color or colors.  I like to get the eyes completed or close to complete at the beginning.  If they aren’t right, it’s nearly impossible to catch a likeness.

Here you can see some of the layers of colors I used.  It is easier to control pastel dust and smears by working from the top down at each stage.  I see that the left ear is a little short, but that’s easily fixed.  I think the eyes show the tilt of the head well.   Now on to the finish.

All done and ready for framing.  I’ve chosen a plain golden wood frame that picks up the colors in the dog’s coat.  I’ve surrounded the drawing with white pastel both to pop the figure out of the background as well as cover any errant smears or marks around the figure and pull the top of the head down slightly.  I usually like to use color for backgrounds, but I’m happy with white for this fellow.  Unfortunately, this may not show as well in the photo, but you see the white strokes when your standing near the painting.

By the way, this is not one of my Shih Tzus, but it could be.  He looks very much like my female, Bishi.  Looks like I’ll be painting them soon…….they are very sensitive dogs, you know!

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Blended Pencil technique
6 X 8
Portrait #1 – Andrew (practice)

This is my first attempt at doing a portrait (from a photo) using graphite (actually a #2 pencil) and smoothing the marks with tortillions (rolled paper sticks with points).  I want to do as many of these as I need to become comfortable with the likeness.  Then I’ll do the final portrait in pastel.   Little Andrew is watched by his Grandfather Alex next door and is just a delight.

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