Thursday, 24 June 2010

Miniature Smooth Dachshund - Tim

Tim: Radclyffe Fulmarus 1995 - 2010
Here is the finished painting of Tim commissioned by his owner/breeders Ted and Margaret Jones of the Radclyffe Mini Smooth Dachshunds who have kindly given me permission to feature Tim's portrait.

Very sadly while I was painting Tim, Ted emailed the sad news that Tim had passed on. However, he had lived a good, very long life and died of a heart attack whilst being carried. We could only wish that all dogs had such lives. Nevertheless, I know I am not the only animal portrait artist who finds it truly sad painting deceased pets. We get to know the animal so well as we work on them for so very many hours that they almost live for us - well they do for me! The consolation though is that it is a priviledge to be able to produce a hopefully fitting memento for their owners.

Thank you Ted for your very kind words about the painting.

Miniature Smooth Dachshund - Tim (work in progress)

Photo 1 of WIP

As promised, I have made the effort to take some photographs of my painting process during my latest commission. I'm just trying to make up my mind whether to include them all in one post or do a few! I think I will post all of the WIP's - there are 3 of them - in one post and then the final painting in its own one. I hope this will be acceptable.

In the above painting, I have drawn the outline and some important features of the dog, painted in the wash blue background and started laying in the base washes on Tim himself. I hope you can already see that in some places there are several layers of wash. I think this is a place where new watercolour artists often have some problems, in that they either make their washes too wet and disturb the colour underneath with a resultant mud effect or put the watercolours on with too little water, making them look harsh and unrealistic. I would say obviously practice is required and also a lightness of hand/brush.  

Photo 2 of WIP
In this photo you can see even more layers added and I should have mentioned in the previous photograph, that there is just the tiniest hint of grass in the background. I suppose one other point which is relevant as far as I am concerned, is that I have painted in Tim's eye with a fair amount of detail even at this early stage. I like to do this with 'my' dogs as I feel then that I have a relationship with them - I imagine that sounds a little crazy, but that's me!!

Photo 3 of WIP
This photo shows  the layering in of brush strokes to form the hairs. As I've mentioned previously, I don't paint the hairs invididually as I'm not very fond of the effect. Instead I splay out the hairs on my brushes (not very good for them by the way) so that I paint several hairs at one time. I also go over many areas with a brush very, very slightly dampened with clear water to blend in some of the hairs. This is a difficult operation to complete successfully as I am trying to get the watercolours to lose a little of their colour and run slightly but so slightly that it is barely visible. Yes, sometimes it goes wrong and needs gently lifting and repainting.
This is the last of the WIP's and the next post will be the final painting.
If you have any queries, please either leave a comment or email me at and I'll be happy to help. 

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Stars and Stripes

Stars And Stripes - FOR SALE tiger original oil

About This Painting:
Media: Oil
Size: 6 in X 6 in (15.2 cm X 15.2 cm)


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Circle Of Life

The Circle Of Life - 7" x 5" on hardboard/masonite

This painting is very special to me; it was inspired by the monthly challenge on the Daily Painters International Art Gallery which this month has been anything to do with dots and/or circles. 

I think anyone who has the slightest knowledge of me wouldn't be at all surprised to see that my rendition of a 'dots' painting would involve a Dalmatian in some form or other! However, this painting also reflects the 'circle' aspect in that it involves 3 generations of my own dogs - the circle of life. The black spotted dog is Emma. She is no longer with us and I don't think a day goes past that I don't think of her - we miss her more than I can say. She was Hazel's mother - Hazel is the liver-spotted girl - and in this painting Hazel's puppies are snuggling up to their devoted grandmother with the complete approval of Hazel. It was a very beautiful scene and reasonably unusual as often bitches will not allow even their own mother anywhere near their puppies. In this painting the puppies are 9 days old and their spots are just beginning to appear. Dalmatian puppies are born pure white, except for any with patches - solid areas of colour usually on the head - and pigment round their eyes and on their noses. At this age they are totally helpless with their eyes shut and their ears not yet open. We of course kept a puppy from this litter - we only breed when we want a puppy ourselves - and this little girl became our Angel who in her character often reminds us of her sweet grandmother.

I hope that this painting will be purchased by someone who will also find it special.


(and to those who wonder, sold to the person who bought my first painting posted online and who has become a special friend)

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