Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Happy 15th Birthday Hazel!

Today has been a special day for us as it is Hazel's 15th birthday. She has received presents and cards and enjoyed them all! After a nice walk in glorious sunshine and a specially cooked dinner she is now fast asleep on the sofa. Happy girl and happy us! 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Watchful - Cheetah oil painting

Watchful - 6" x 6" oil on hardboard/mdf

This painting is straight off the easel. I sent it to those people who have signed up to be included in my preview list and it was purchased by someone on that list.

If you would like to be added to my preview list and see paintings direct as they come off the easel, please let me know.


Anne Zoutsos

Monday, 31 March 2014

Tiger Light

Tiger Light - 6" x 6" oil on hardboard/mdf

I must admit I do enjoy painting big cats. Oh well, the truth is I enjoy painting and I love painting all animals! This young tiger is just off the easel and sold on preview.

If you would like to receive previews of my paintings before they are made generally available online, just drop me a line at info@azpaintings.com and I'll put you on my list.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dalmatian #2 (finished) Tutorial - Lesson 4

Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 4

So here is the painting now finished. I've also featured the head of this girl to show it in detail. Since the last blog post, all the spots have been completed and more work has been done on the shading of the body. This is the stage when small areas of detail are added - such as the toe nails. In this painting, the paint has been thinned on two occasions only - firstly for the underpainting sketch and then for the whiskers. Finally the background has been painted, my signature added and that's it!

I hope you've enjoyed the little journey through the development of one of my paintings.

If you have any comments, please email me at info@azpaintings.com


Monday, 17 March 2014

Dalmatian #2 Tutorial - Lesson 3

Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 3

As can be seen, things have moved on quite a lot since I last showed you the progress of this painting. The head and ears have almost been completed although there will be some more detail added. The entire body has been worked on with the shading being refined and all the spots have had thick paint applied but only fairly roughly. The spots above the collar and a few below have had detail added so the next stage of the painting will be to add detail to all of the spots on the body and legs. It will then be back to her head and together with the detail mentioned above, whiskers will also be painted in. Once all of this has been done, I will paint the background and then sign it. It will then be ready for her owner to check that she is happy with the painting.


If you have any questions, please email me at info@azpaintings.com

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Dalmatian #2 Tutorial - Lesson 2

Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 2

A considerable amount of work has been done since the last stage of this painting. All of the shading has been roughed in together with the spots on the head and ears and more work has been done on the eyes. Please note though that not one area of the dog is finished yet. I should also admit that I don't always paint in an ordered and sensible fashion and quite often get attracted by a particular area of the painting or take a rest from a difficult part! I am sure this is not the accepted way to paint, but since I am self-taught, I can please myself! 

If you'd like to ask any questions, please email me at info@azpaintings.com


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Dalmatian #2 Tutorial - Lesson 1

Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 1

I think the photo of this stage of the painting is fairly self-explanatory. As can be seen, once again I have painted the eyes first so that I can develop a relationship with the dog. After that I have blocked in shaded areas and the spots with thin paint. In this painting I have also added a foot which was not visible in the reference photo but without which I felt the painting looked wrong. 

At this point, I like to step away from the painting and look at it to make sure that it is developing along the right lines. Even when only in the beginning stages I aim to make the paintings visually interesting.

If you have any questions, please email me at info@azpaintings.com


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Dalmatian oil painting tutorial - lesson 4

 Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 4

So, here is the final painting. I hope it's going to be clear enough to see easily as I've found it incredibly hard to get a reasonable photo of it. 

I think a lot of this lesson really is self-explanatory. As can be seen, the black background has been painted in and the black edges of the ears have been slightly lightened so that they can be seen against the background - albeit not very well in this photo! Sometimes it can be very effective to paint 'lost and found' edges where parts of a painting are indistinguishable against the background but I didn't feel this would be right with this painting. More detail was added to the muzzle area and whiskers were painted in. The bed was painted but less than in the actual photo and toes were added which weren't in the photo! The final part of all was the blending in of the reflection with brush strokes both horizontal and vertical. Although the reflection is an important part of the painting it must not take centre stage - this position must be left to the VIP of the painting. 

Good girl Macy!

I hope you've enjoyed this journey into painting - another one to follow very shortly.

If you have any questions, please email me at info@azpaintings.com


Monday, 10 March 2014

Dalmatian oil painting tutorial - lesson 3

 Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 3

At this stage the painting of the Dalmatian itself is almost finished. More detail has been added to the spots and the shading. The reflection has been added although this will need blurring into the background when that has been completed. 

It's always a good idea to look at your painting from slightly different angles and stand back to see it from a little further away. It's so easy when you're concentrating hard on the details of a painting to lose sight of the whole picture and for exaggerations to creep in. When you look at your painting, do you feel you could stroke the dog, feel its body under your hands? If you do, then you know you're getting it right. 

Any questions - just drop me a line at info@azpaintings.com


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Dalmatian oil painting tutorial - lesson 2

Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 2

As can be seen, the painting has developed considerably since the last lesson. The spots have all had oil paint applied without the addition of any thinner or medium. At the moment the edges are only roughly painted although the shapes are more or less accurate. The areas in shadow have had considerably more paint applied and again, like the spots, the paint has had nothing mixed with it. A large amount of detail has been added creating much more form. I've also added much more detail to the eye rims but haven't touched the eyes themselves as I got the expression I wanted when I first painted them and don't want this changed until I'm ready to work in the final detail - quite a time consuming part as getting the eye detail right is crucial. 

When you get to this stage, take time to look at the painting to make sure that your image is really starting to gain shape so that you feel you can reach out and touch the dog. If you don't feel that yourself,  you'll be lucky if anybody else does! If you're not sure, try looking at it through a mirror as when you're not used to painting, it can be useful to have a different perspective. For now, I feel very fond of this little girl and look forward to the next stage of work.

Again, if anyone has any questions, please email me at info@azpaintings.com or leave a comment here.


Monday, 3 March 2014

Dalmatian oil painting tutorial

Step by step oil painting instructions

I've been asked so many times to give painting tuition in my way of painting that I have decided to do my best and show the progress of a painting and describe the steps along the way. If anyone has any questions, please either email them to me at info@azpaintings.com or leave a comment here. 

The painting I will be showing you is on a 16" x 12" box canvas and is going to be a 'reflection' painting. 

As usual I like to paint the eyes first, even though only roughly, but this aspect of the painting is extremely important to me. Once I have the eyes painted I can relax and start to build up the rest of the body. I like to get the shading of the body painted next as it starts then to form the flat image into something with form and life. I start by blocking in a thin layer of paint in the areas of shadow and also all the spots. I don't worry at this stage about making sure the spots are all the same depth of colour but I do try and get the different tones of shading more or less correct although not at their final depth. At this stage I only use Ivory Black and Titanium White. This is a very important step in the painting and if it lacks interest now, the final painting is also likely to be boring. If the painting was of a different coloured animal I would use a complementary but still neutral colour for the shadow. 

I hope you've enjoyed this first lesson in painting my way and will join me for the next stage which will follow soon.


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Heir Apparent

Heir Apparent - 6" x 6" oil on hardboard/masonite

This young lion has such a lovely face that I simply couldn't resist painting it - I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed creating it. 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

An Apple A Day - Labrador puppy oil painting

An Apple A Day - 10" x 8" oil on canvas

Another cute little puppy which will be starring in the Pine Ridge Art 2015 calendar. If you'd like this baby for yourself it is available here.

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: £188 GBP plus £10 GBP s/h

Many thanks once again to Lisa Husar of Team Husar for allowing me to use one of her fabulous photos as reference.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Baby Bassett

Baby Bassett - 5" x 7"oil on hardboard/masonite

This little puppy is going to be featured in the Pine Ridge Art 2015 calendar but the original is available to purchase now!

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: £125 GBP plus £7 GBP s/h

My grateful thanks to Lisa Husar of Team Husar for the reference photograph

This painting is straight off the easel and will need to dry for several days before it can be shipped

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year


May all your wishes come true in 2014.

Friday, 6 December 2013

RIP Mr Mandela

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Golden Retriever Oil Painting (and another apology!)

14" x 10" oil on linen canvas - Golden Retriever Elliot

Once again I must apologise for the dearth of blog posts - I can only say that I am simply so busy painting that everything else has been taking a back seat. I can can tell you though that things are planned to be somewhat more organised in the New Year and I am thinking of publishing a newsletter - perhaps bi-monthly. 

However, for now here is a recent commission of a gorgeous golden retriever which I hope you enjoy. 

Don't forget I am only an email address away if you want to ask me anything or chat - although expect fairly brief responses pre-Christmas!! 


PS I am fully booked for this Christmas - sorry to those who've been disappointed 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Liver spotted Dalmatian pet portrait commission

12" x 16" oil on linen stretched canvas

Here is my most recent commission - not a particularly easy one as the photographic reference wasn't very good as the main photo of his head was very small indeed. In fact this painting is made up of two photographs as the owner particularly wanted this expression - being typical of him - but the photo only went half way down his chest. Fortunately she had another photo of him in almost the same pose - with his head in a different position - so it wasn't too difficult although the way the spots change shape according to slight changes of position in the dog have to be seen to be believed! 

This was also a very difficult painting to photograph accurately and I'm going to have to check it today for accuracy. Then rush, rush, rush, carry on with the next commission!

If you'd like to contact me my email address is info@azpaintings.com.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Rhodesian Ridgeback oil painting

Rhodesian Ridgeback - Jackson. 16" x 20" oil on canvas

Another recent commission which I can now share as it was commissioned as a birthday present and given today. I've been informed that everyone was crying when the parcel was opened which I must admit made me feel quite emotional too!

If you would like to commission a painting or have a question please email me at info@azpaintings.com

Friday, 16 August 2013

Saluki watercolour

Saluki Watercolour on Saunders Waterford NOT

Tonight I'm sharing one of my recent(ish) commissions. As it says, it's a watercolour, 16" x 20", on my favourite paper Saunders Waterford NOT. For those of you who don't know, NOT stands for not hot pressed which means that the surface has a small amount of texture rather than the completely smooth surface of hot pressed.

If you have any comments/questions, please feel free to either leave a comment here or email me at info@azpaintings.com

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Hello Again

I must apologise for my absence. I have been extremely busy with commissions and I'm going to blame my tardiness on that - whether or not it is a good excuse, I'm using it! 

If you would like something in particular to appear in this blog, please let me know. I presume you know my email address by now, but if not it's info@azpaintings.com and it would be interesting to see your suggestions. 

If I hear nothing, then it will be back to my paintings! First one to appear here, all things being equal, tomorrow. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Happy Independence Day

I'd like to wish all my many American friends a very

Happy Independence Day

Hey - wait a minute - that was independence from us! ;)

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Facebook Integration

I've been trying to link this blog to my Facebook page - www.facebook.com/AnneZoutsosArtist but when I did through Twitter, a thumbnail of another artist's not very good painting was included in the post. I didn't want anyone to think it was my painting, so I deleted it entirely as it wouldn't allow me to delete the thumbnail alone. I have now removed the link between Twitter and Facebook and instead hopefully set up a link between Feedblitz and Facebook and this is a test posting. While talking about Feedblitz I'd also like to let you know that when my subscribers receive an email of my posts, the adverts included are nothing to do with me but automatically added by Feedblitz. 

If you've any comments or tales about social networking, I'd be interested to hear them!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Watercolour musings - talks about materials #2

I'm often asked which colours I use in my paintings. Actually I don't use very many and they tend to be very similar in watercolours and oils - tonight here are the watercolour colours:

Ivory black
Lamp black
Burnt umber
Raw umber
Burnt sienna
Raw sienna
Yellow ochre
Lemon yellow
Cadmium yellow
Cadmium red
Alizarin crimson
Cerulean Blue Hue
French ultramarine
 An unknown green - maybe viridian!

I think it's just as well to have a reasonably limited palette and I find all my needs are met from this choice of colours.

Be careful when mixing colours - it is very easy to make mud. You want to keep your colours clear and vibrant. You will find, as you use them, that some are easy to scrub out almost completely whereas others have a very strong stain. Greens seem to stain the paper very quickly which I think increases my antipathy towards them;  I hardly ever use green. When I need a green I usually use lemon yellow and lamp black with the tiniest smidgen of green which may or may not be viridian!

Enjoy yourselves!


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Watercolour musings - talks about materials

So today is the first of my watercolour discussions. I would say straight away that I always use artist quality products - I know some other artists use cheaper materials successfully but I have tried them and couldn't get on with them at all. I use Winsor & Newton watercolour paints although I would not suggest that these are superior to other makes, but they are what I started with, liked them and have stuck with them. 

As for brushes - well I must have tried hundreds! Other than my large wash brush and my faithful old 'scrubber' all my paint brushes are sable. Well I say all, that's not entirely true - amongst them are a few brushes manufactured with various mixtures of man-made and sable hair which I have bought in optimism that maybe a new brush had been discovered which would be my perfect brush, but these have always to date, been relegated after first use to mixing paint colours or cleaning my palette. I can only paint with sable and I use a round brush. Most of my work is done with a no 3 sable as I've found with trial and error that with this size I can get a nice point or a nice splay, depending on what I'm painting, together with a reasonable amount of paint holding. Sadly brushes do lose their 'sharpness' quite rapidly and I have to supplement my brush collection frequently. I am still on the look out for the perfect brush which I doubt exists!

Now I mentioned palettes. It will probably surprise you that I still use the travelling box of paints, with the palette an integral part of the box, which I first started with so many years ago! It really is a nuisance as it's difficult to make a large amount of wash without it slopping into it's neighbour's well, but I've never even considered using another palette. In fact I do have two plastic palettes bought for me, but I have only used them for acrylic paint! 

I think paper is a very personal choice. I would suggest you visit your local art shop and buy a sheet of several different makes. You will also need to find out whether you prefer a rough, hot pressed or NOT, also called cold pressed, surface. I like NOT which is a medium surface - between rough and the smooth hot pressed. I like the Saunders Waterford brand which is 100% cotton rag and which is strong enough to take a reasonable amount of scrubbing. I always soak my paper in a bath of cold water for at least 10 minutes before stretching it. It really is important for you to try different makes as they differ enormously in the way the paint sits on them and is absorbed.

I will talk about which colours make up my palette in my next post but meanwhile, do let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.