“Can you do a painting of a buffalo on a guitar?” This request came from a friend, asking for her significant other. She wanted to know if I could meet with him to discuss the project as he had very specific ideas about what he wanted.
I had questions… Did he want a painting of a “picture” of a guitar with a buffalo on it (which I didn’t really want to do), or did he want me to paint a picture of a buffalo on an actual guitar (which I REALLY didn’t want to do)? Since it was a close friend asking, I decided to at least hear what he had to say, even though I was quite certain that I did not want to take on this project.
He wanted me to paint on an actual guitar. I said no. He had put a good deal of time and thought into a presentation with examples of exactly what he wanted. It was to be a parting gift for his boss, who oversaw the Buffalo, New York region and was transferring to another state. He was a musician and guitar enthusiast, hence the buffalo on the guitar. I said no – I had no idea what to use to paint a guitar, and I didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good musical instrument – layers of paint would certainly affect the sound quality of an acoustic guitar. Still, he persisted. It was to be a more of a wall ornament, not to be played, and he would buy a low-end guitar for me to use.
Then something shifted. I was swept up in his wave of enthusiasm. I had an idea: I knew I didn’t want to paint the guitar, but what if I were to use color pencil and oil pastel? I was confident that I could achieve the look that he wanted using that medium. However, he would have to find a guitar with unfinished wood in order for it to work. He agreed and we had a plan!
After two failed attempts at procuring an unfinished wood guitar (although they looked like unfinished wood, they had some sort of laminate that had a plastic-like surface and would not hold the pencil colors), he found a woodworker that was able to apply a thin wood veneer to the front of the second guitar. Finally, I had a base on which I could work. The rest of the project went very smoothly and was a rather enjoyable experience and I was quite pleased with the finished piece. My friend brought the guitar back to the music store from which he purchased it to get it re-strung and tuned. The best part of all – even more than I could have hoped for – the musician who tuned it for him said that it had the nicest sound of any guitar she had ever played!
Posted in art, color pencil, Nature, wildlife, wildlife art
Tagged animal art, animals, art, art technique, drawing, mammals, nature, painting, wildlife, wildlife art
“In Memory of Tessy”
Acrylic on canvas – reference photo by Lisa Giberti.
When I first saw this picture I knew I wanted to paint it. The lighting is so lovely, and it captures the peaceful atmosphere of Lisa’s farm. And yes, part of her ear is missing – she came to Lisa’s farm that way!
Many years ago my brother found an injured great horned owl in the woods. It had been shot in the wing. It was alert and able to perch, but could not fly. We brought it to a wildlife veterinarian, but sadly, they were not able to save it.
I’ve wanted to do an owl painting ever since then, but lack of a decent reference photo and being intimidated by all those intricate feather patterns fostered my procrastination. I finally got around to it, and I’m quite happy with the result:
Great Horned Owl – 8.5 x 11 color pencil and pastel.
(Reference photo for owl used with permission from Crystal Stacey of Edged Feather Photography .)
“Formerly the neighbor’s cat” – 11 X 14 acrylic on canvas… This one needed more than just a title, so in honor of national poetry month:
Formerly the neighbor’s cat…
With quiet persistence she would steal away from the noise, from the clutter, to a place of sweet serenity; the rhythmic sound of her contentment complimenting the stillness.
This is a portrait of my cat “Panda”. She was neglected by her owners – our neighbors – so, little by little, she relocated herself to our farm. The owners have since moved away and left her behind, so she is officially ours now!
(Comments and constructive criticism are welcome, valued and appreciated.)
Emu eggs are very carefully etched with a high speed drill, through three layers of shell; each revealing a different color. Dark emerald green on the outer layer, teal in the middle and white on the inside layer. Designs are made using these three colors.
Since I haven’t started a new piece yet, I thought I’d share this. When this horse portrait was commissioned, the horse’s owner asked if I could send pictures of my progress to her as I went along. I was happy to oblige.
First, I visited her farm in order to meet her horse, “Star” and have a photo shoot. I took about 50 pictures in various settings and poses. She chose two pictures from which I would create the portrait.
She wanted me to use the pose from the first picture and the coat color from the second. A bit more difficult than working from one photo, but I’m always up for a challenge!
I did the initial drawing on toned paper with white chalk pencil. The chalk is easier than graphite to erase as I go along, so that the lines don’t show through. I added “atmosphere” in the background with chalk pastel.
Next came the fun part – coloring!
I began with a base of colored pencil, intending to do the whole base layer in pencil first, but I got impatient and started in with the oil pastels. In the photos above, I’ve added the oil pastel to the ears. (I just love horses’ ears!)
I’ve finished most of the color pencil on the horse, and added the oil pastel.
Now for the halter. Color pencil base layer then the oil pastel. I rework details with color pencil on top of the pastel over the whole portrait.
The finished portrait of Star.
As always, thoughts and constructive critiques are welcomed and appreciated!
Posted in Art and design, horse art, horses
Tagged animals, art technique, drawing, equine, equine art, horse art, horses, morgan horse, painting, photography, ponies, portraits, quarter horse
After a long hiatus from studio time, I’m ready to get back to it. I’m starting small, so as not to get overwhelmed and procrastinate. I’ve chosen a picture of a garter snake that I took last summer in the horse paddock. It was patient enough to let me have a photo shoot, even while I was crouched on the ground in front of it to get different perspectives. Thank you little snake!
I know snakes are not a popular subject matter, but if you can overlook the “creepy” factor, they really are quite beautiful.
I will be portraying this little garter snake in graphite. I’ll add updates as I go along.
I was a little impatient and jumped right in before doing a complete detailed line drawing. A good start though, I think.
Feb 17, 2015 I haven’t had much time to work this week. Got a little further. Trying to decide just how much detail I want to put on the ground. I don’t want it to be too busy, but I want it to have texture.
March 5, 2015 Not much progress – a bout with the flu left me with no desire to get much of anything done. But I’m on the mend and getting back to work. I find myself getting a little cross-eyed on this one. So many little scales!
One of the hardest parts of any drawing for me is knowing when to stop. I think this one is finished, for now. I’ll put it aside for a week and then give it one last tweak. I can see that I have to work on photographing my work to have more consistency in the lighting. Constructive critiques are welcome!
Posted in art, art & design, Nature, wildlife, wildlife art
Tagged animals, art, birds, dogs, drawing, equine art, horses, mammals, nature, painting, wildlife, wildlife art