This was a nice change from the usual type of commission and I very much enjoyed painting these two. There was a challenge as I was requested to give the painting more colour and variety than the reference photograph - not the easiest thing to do but it was fun! Tomorrow I will share the original photograph for you to see the difference.
This standard poodle was diagnosed with a serious illness a few years ago and it seemed unlikely he would survive. However, the combination of skilled surgeons, devoted owners and his own indomitable spirit meant he survived to enjoy a happy and full life.
Sadly all good things must come to an end. RIP Louis.
Well I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year and in fact is still having a good new year! I started 2016 with a sickly computer and a sickly me. Neither of us was seriously ill but it did make posting too difficult to struggle with. However, we are now both back and fully fit!
I'm hoping to get back to posting regularly now and if you have any comments or there is anything you'd like to see or have discussed, please let me know.
As I say under the painting, this lovely Dalmatian was painted on Saunders Waterford NOT. For those of you new to this blog and not familiar with watercolour papers, you might wonder what NOT stands for. It actually means NOT hot pressed. Hot pressed watercolour paper is very smooth as opposed to rough watercolour paper which is.... yes, you guessed it, rough. NOT fits in between the two. I use Saunders Waterford as I find it a forgiving paper, meaning that it is possible to be relatively rough with it. I always suggest to people new to watercolours, that they pop along to their local art shop and buy a selection of different papers to see which they like best and which suits their style of painting best. I find Saunders Waterford paper to be like Baby Bear's porridge in Goldilocks and The Three Bears, that is, just right!
Having been negligent of this blog for so long, it's quite difficult to try and catch up and at the same time of course this is a very busy time of year for artists. So this is my excuse for my postings, some of which are going to be rather brief! Please accept my apologies.
The above painting was one of three Groenendaels painted earlier this year. They were commissioned as a surprise gift so a lot of secrecy was involved!
If you do have any questions you'd like to ask me, do feel free to either comment below or email me and I will get back to you, or if your query is of general interest, will publish it in this blog.
I told the following brief story on my facebook page (Anne Zoutsos Artist) and thought I'd share it with you all too.
When I was little I heard a story about a man who carved beautiful little horses. One day he carved one which was so perfect, it galloped away. It is my hope that one day one of my paintings will bark...
This very handsome Dalmatian, painted in oils, is greatly missed by his devoted owner. RIP Bailey.
20" x 16" watercolour - Aus Ch Laurieton His Masters Voice
Today's post is of a very handsome standard long haired dachshund. Not only a gorgeous looking dog but also one in stunning condition and looking so healthy. A real pleasure to paint! For those who are wondering what Aus Ch means, it is Australian Champion.
At the moment I'm wondering whether I should migrate this blog over to Wordpress and wonder if anyone has any views on this? I'm also unhappy with Feedblitz which sends this post by email to subscribers. I'm unhappy with it because of all the advertising plastered over the email but I'm not sure if there is a good alternative. I suppose I should research more but there are only so many hours in the day and at the moment most of them are taken up with painting. Talking of which, I must get back to it now!
As regular readers will know, I haven't got my blog postings properly organised yet, but I'm getting there!
Meanwhile, another Dalmatian for you. A sad story as this young girl, so full of life and living, was diagnosed as suffering from leukaemia and her life ended at the very premature age of 6. She is still greatly missed by her owner. RIP sweetheart.
Hmm, not wonderfully organised at updating my blog yet! Well, early days...
Today I'm sharing an oil painting completed a few months ago. I really enjoyed painting this boy - it was fun to have a different pose from usual. I think it probably goes without saying that I do love the expression in his eyes and spent a long time getting them just as I wanted. I hope you agree that it was worth the time!
The portrait was commissioned by his breeder in the UK as a gift for his owner - what a lovely gesture.
This boy is alive and well and lives with his owner in France.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss commissioning a painting please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (now booking into the New Year)
It's been a long time since I've posted on my blog. Those of you who've been around for some time will probably notice that there is a change in the design of this blog. This is to co-ordinate it with my new website which has very recently been published. If anyone notices any mistakes with the website, I'd be grateful if you could drop me a note to let me know.
Meanwhile I've been busy painting of course and have quite a few paintings to share with you. I'm starting with my most recently finished commission of a stunning Dalmatian girl - how lovely she was and I can understand how much her owner misses her...
I will try and organise myself to update this blog efficiently but again, those who have been around before will know that organisation isn't exactly my forte!
As I write, my website is down. I do apologise and suspect it may be due to a large number of hits today. I am no expert though so this may not be the case at all. I will get it back up and running as soon as I can.
I had meant to publish this photo directly after the post of the video showing a painting being opened as this was what was being unwrapped. Oh well, to quote Robert Burns - "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley"!
As I explained on my Facebook page (Anne Zoutsos Artist), I'm still trying to catch up with posting my paintings. The one featured today was a pre-Christmas commission so at this rate I'll still be posting last year's Christmas portraits just before this Christmas! Oh well, painting's more important than posting - or it is to me although I suppose it's not the way to be when social networking is so important these days. Whoops!
Please click the bottom right-hand corner to enlarge
The painting here was commissioned as a surprise gift for the lady shown, by a kind friend of hers, in celebration of the life of her beloved Dalmatian who had died 3 weeks previously. Those of us who truly love our four-legged family members, know the depth of grief felt when they leave us. The video was taken by another friend (owner of the two Dalmatians shown) to whom the painting had been sent so that she would be able to record the unwrapping.
I often get messages from people telling me how they cried on opening their painting but I don't usually get the opportunity of seeing it for myself and yes, the person making the recording is also crying. I think you can imagine just how touching I find this and guess my own response on seeing this...
Watercolour portrait of Standard Longhaired Dachshund
Ch & Aust Ch Tekalhaus Masterpiece
In this brief tutorial I will aim to show you my watercolour painting process resulting in a portrait such as the one above.
I'm afraid that I don't have any WIP photos of the head being painted, but as the procedure is the same as the body I don't think this is a problem. You can see here that the basic colours and tones are being laid in and no paint is applied where the highlights will be eventually. I put the blue background in before I start painting the dog and don't worry unduly if it overlaps the outline of the dog a little. Blue - it's French Ultramarine - is reasonably easy to scrub out - not completely of course, but sufficient for my needs. If it were green that would be another matter! The paint at this stage is of a watery consistency.
In the painting above, you can see I have started to add the fine detail of the hair. If you look, you will also see where I have added more colour to the side near the front of the dog and also scrubbed out some colour. I have an old brush which I keep purely for scrubbing out - a horrible looking old thing but which does the job just right. I tend to keep it in water for days on end - poor old brush! When I paint the hairs, I splay out a round sable and use the paint reasonably dry but not too dry which would cause drag marks. I don't paint individual hairs as I prefer the more natural look obtained when several hairs are painted at the same time.
In this painting, the final outcome is becoming very clear. You will see that not only do I reserve white or pale paper for the highlights but I also use white watercolour. Now many of you will know that using white or black paint in watercolour is very frowned upon and for many years I used neither. I don't know exactly why but one day I became irritated at following 'the rules' and decided to go my own way. Now I use both white and black watercolours. However, I use them very, very carefully. If you want to deaden a painting there is hardly a quicker way than using white and black indiscriminately. I never mix white with any other colour as I loathe the chalky, lifeless quality it gives. As you can see above, I have used white on the hightlights of the dog - however, as the paper was already much lighter in these areas, only a small amount was needed and laid in very lightly. I will sometimes use a colour over white paint but very, very carefully so as to not disturb the white underneath as I don't want it to mix with the colour above. If it does, then I remove the lot with my faithful scrubbing brush. When I use black I sometimes use it neat but often mix a little blue or brown into it. Perhaps I should also mention the grass. This is painted starting with the lightest colours gradually working in the darks with very little scrubbing out as greens don't like it!
I always paint on Saunders Waterford NOT as I like the level of absorbency this paper has. It is also good natured and will allow judicious scrubbing out although all watercolour paper needs respectful handling. I only use sable round brushes except for the sky where I use a 1" flat which is a mixture of sable and man-made. My faithful scrubbing brush is also a mixture of sable and man-made.
The colours used in this painting were: French Ultramarine, Lamp Black, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Yellow Ochre (very little as it tends to be chalky-looking), Lemon Yellow (this together with Lamp Black give a rather nice olive green), Sap Green. To the best of my recollection these were the only colours with possibly the addition of a green which I've had in my box for so many years, I don't know what colour it is - I only use a tiny bit.
I do hope this little 'tuition' has been helpful to any aspiring artists out there.
Rhodesian Ridgeback - Simba. 20" x 16" watercolour on Saunders Waterford NOT
Another recent commission - this time a watercolour. A much loved and very sadly missed beautiful boy. As far as I can see there is really only one thing wrong with dogs, and that is that however long they live, it's not nearly long enough...
My next blog entry will be a mini watercolour tutorial - can I hear "at last"? Apologies that it's taken so long to post!