Monday, 29 August 2011

Yin Yang (Two Tigers Caressing)

Yin Yang - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite


This painting took rather a long time to paint owing to the patterning of the stripes and the muscular bodies of the tigers - it needed a considerable amount of attention not to get lost amongst all those patterns! It reminds me so much of the Chinese Yin Yang symbol which I am sure you will all know but just in case you don't here is an example:
I've realised that although I know the symbol so well, I know very little of its meaning other than it represents the balance of nature and life. It will be intesting to do some research and learn more about it - I always enjoy learning something new.

I find this painting harmonious and very pleasingly balanced - I hope you do too!

This painting is straight off the easel and still very wet - it will need several days at least before it can be shipped.

Based on a photograph by Schristia at flickr.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Labrador Reflections (Yellow)

Labrador Reflections (Yellow)

About This Painting:
Media: Oil
Size: 7 in X 5 in (17.8 cm X 12.7 cm)

Another 'reflections' painting as I do so enjoy painting them! This is the first in a series of 3 and I don't think you'll need to be a genius to guess that the other two will feature black and chocolate labradors.

Just one other small point; often yellow labradors are misnamed and called golden labradors. There is a very good reason why they should be described as 'yellow' and not 'golden' and that is to avoid any mix up with golden retrievers since of course the full title of a labrador is a labrador retriever and you can see how easily misunderstandings would occur if you had golden labrador retrievers and golden retrievers!

Whoops! I forgot to add that this painting is straight off the easel and so will need to dry for several days before it can be shipped and that it is based on a photograph by davco9200 at Flickr.


Sunday, 14 August 2011

At The End Of My Tether

At The End Of My Tether - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite


Well not only is this little dog at the end of its tether, I am almost at the end of mine, trying to get a decent photograph of the painting - yes, sorry I know, I can hear you saying - as usual!! Not being a photographer, I don't understand why some colours just seem to fade into the background and can only be brought out with photoshop. However, I have finally got this photograph quite close to the actual painting - something I do feel is very important when you're offering your work for sale. I would be terribly upset if someone received a painting and they weren't happy with it if for instance I had misled them with an inaccurate photo. Thankfully this has never yet happened - and fingers tightly crossed it never will!

I hope those of us who own dogs, never make them wait for us for too long and in fact the dog in the painting appears quite happy waiting for its owner's return, even if it is standing at the very extremity of its leash on the sun-dappled pavement. 

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

My thanks to Elsie esq. at Flickr for the reference photo on which this painting is based

Monday, 8 August 2011

Reservoir Dog - Mr Pink

Reservoir Dog - Mr Pink  -  7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite

I smile everytime I think of the title of this painting and I imagine that most people will know that it is taken from the film Reservoir Dogs by Quentin Tarantino and that one of the characters in the film was Mr Pink. I love the photo used as the cover for the CD of the film music with the men walking in the bright overhead sunshine, giving them intense dark shadows - hence my 'dog' version recreated in this painting and of course the pink harness reveals which character is being played!

I must though admit now that I haven't actually watched Reservoir Dogs and never will - however good a film it is, I simply can't watch violent films - oh dear, I know, stupid but there it is!


With thanks to nickton at Flickr for the reference photograph

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Going My Way - (Jack Russell Terrier)

Going My Way - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite


I really like the pattern of the cobble stones in this painting and it was fun painting them. I'm thinking maybe I should start painting more things other than animals - I wonder.........?


My thanks to AleGranholm at Flickr for the reference photograph

Monday, 1 August 2011

Safe And Sound

Safe And Sound - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite

There is no question in my mind that when you look into the eyes of a dog, you are looking into the eyes of a creature with a mind of great complexity; a personality, not a mere 'animal'. This is one of the reasons I am so obsessed with painting eyes correctly and perhaps the part I see most often incorrectly painted. 

There is a huge variation in the size and shape of the eyes of different dog breeds and within those breeds there are still quite large differences. It is vitally important if you want to paint dog portraits accurately, that you pay huge attention to the eyes and if the photograph you have doesn't show them clearly, you simply can't just copy the eyes of another dog. It would be like painting the eyes of one human if you didn't have a clear photo of the person you were painting.

Of course if you are painting a dog no longer alive and there are no clear photographs, you are in somewhat of a dilemma. Frankly, quite often the owner will not have a clear memory of the exact eye shape - although it's surprising if they don't remember the expression. Very often you will get clues from the shape of the head, particularly just above and below the eye. 

I can only urge dog portrait artists to see dogs! Go to dog shows where you will see large numbers of different breeds - look at them - really look at them and see them. Too often people look without seeing.

Well I think that's enough nagging for today! I hope you enjoy this little chihuahua.


Based on a photograph by Daniel Chan at Flickr