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Topic: Pet Portraits for Christmas!  (Read 5445 times)
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Opalgryphon
« on: December 23, 2009 05:25:58 AM »

Just thought I'd share a few from my Christmas paintings (a little early I know...I hope I don't ruin any surprises!) They're all 11x14" watercolors.

Dot the Catahoula:


Troop the Boxer:


Little Buddy the Tabby:


There are a ton more, but these are my most recent favorites.  I enjoy doing the ones with more texture and fur patterning and think I'm better at it than the smooth/solid colored ones.  They're all from photos btw, I don't have an eidetic memory Wink

Oh, and an older one for the road...this is my baby Gizmo:
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2009 06:01:16 AM »

Great work, very realistic. I especially like the depth in the eyes of the first one.
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2009 06:10:33 AM »

Those are fantastic!  Do you do birds?
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AdrianM
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2009 06:25:20 AM »

What remarkable work you do.  You seemed to have even captured their personalities in each piece as well. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009 06:36:35 AM »

So lovely! I love the colours and the personality of every one of them. They really are fabulous Smiley
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Muria
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2009 06:42:01 AM »

Great paintings!  You did an amazing job!
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2009 06:57:47 AM »

These pictures are amazing! How long does it take you to complete one?
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pixeegrl
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2009 07:28:12 AM »

My dad has a catahoula and it's very hard to find things for him. Do you do commissions?....for next time lol Beautiful work!
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2009 07:51:05 AM »

i love the use of colors =) so nice and realistic

*Kelly*
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2009 08:22:54 AM »

Your paintings are just wonderful!  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2009 08:41:10 AM »

Amazing! I would love to get one of these for my doggies!
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2009 08:43:04 AM »

These are fantastic! The eyes are incredible....I know that's one of the hardest things is faces and eyes...you've captured the pups beautifully.
It looks like they're looking right at you!

Very, very nice work.
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2009 08:49:57 AM »

I would love to receive a pet portrait like this for christmas! I am sure everyone is going to be thrilled.
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2009 09:12:57 AM »

Ohhhh - Gizmo is adorable!  You do beautiful work!
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« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2009 10:51:10 AM »

They are gorgeous!  Being a stick-man artist, I am amazed at your talent.
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« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2009 01:25:35 PM »

Really fantastic!
I love the alance of tones and the saturation of color you achieve with the watercolor!
Can we see one in progress?
I'm always curious to see the method behind the genius.
I hope you are charging money for these because they are really good and too many of us give away our time.
Keep posting, can't wait to see more!
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notanotherxerox
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2009 02:55:57 PM »

Wow, they are some of the best pet portraits I've ever seen!!! Absolutely beautiful. I'm so jealous of your talent!
What kind of watercolors do you use? Mine always turn out looking really washed out and I can never get that kind of color from them.
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Opalgryphon
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2009 07:36:42 PM »

Thanks everybody!

llisaredd - I haven't done a bird yet, but I'm sure I could.  My grandma-in-law wants one but hasn't gotten me any photos yet Smiley  Wait!  I've done a rooster . . . in socks!  Does that count?


Craftster2 - They take anywhere from 4-6 hours.  Darker pets take me longer because it's harder to get that much pigment on the paper.

Pixeegrl - I can not confirm nor deny as my response could possibly be against Craftster policy

thisbirdsabsurd - I think Gizmo is adorable too, but I'm a bit biased Wink

alohamom2three - I have some progress shots, but I always plan on documenting the process then completely forget half way through.  I'll try to post some in the next few days.  I have to figure out where I stashed em on my hard drive.  Don't worry, I'm not giving away my time Wink

notanotherxerox - I have Sakura Koi, Reeves, and a Yarka professional pan set that I use in combination.  As far as depth of color goes, it's lots and lots of layering.  I'll try to get an in progress series posted soon so you can see it.  Unfortunately I think the only one I have a lot of shots of is a black German Shepherd so it's almost all value no color.  Light Up Your Watercolors Layer by Layer by Linda Moyer is a good book.  I'm sure there are more out there, but the things are expensive so I only have the one Wink

Thanks again for all of the great compliments!  I really enjoy talking about this stuff, but I'm self taught, so I sometimes have trouble explaining it.
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scottie
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2009 10:11:45 PM »

oh, i love baby Gizmo!
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2009 11:20:37 PM »

Those are Beautiful! I hope I can do a Trade or a Comission for one or two of those for my babies? Tucker and Jocko?
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teachingjonah
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2009 05:01:10 AM »

Those are so wonderful.  I think Gizmo was my favorite until I saw the rooster in socks.  That is just too funny.  Beautiful work.
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pixeegrl
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2009 05:29:43 AM »

Thanks! I found your Facebook page. Gorgeous work!
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whatthepuck
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2009 05:41:23 AM »

I love the one of Gizmo. Adorable.
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Opalgryphon
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2009 07:47:41 AM »

As I said before, I always start out taking photos and forget halfway through, so there are only a couple actual painting progress shots ><

Original Photo:


Sketch from the Photo:


I have a Monolith pencil that is graphite all the way through (no wood), so it's quick and easy to turn the back of the sketch into it's own transfer paper.


Transferred to the watercolor block (I prefer blocks, I HATE blocking my own watercolor paper, so I'm willing to pay more)


Starting to do a really rough block-in of some of the values.  The tape keeps the edges of the box crisp so I can paint to the edge without worrying about bleeding.  It's just "delicate" blue painter's tape.


Wash of a mid value gray over the whole thing.  Washes are really what blend and smooth the whole thing together


Final painting.  I just kept adding color and value over the previous layers until I had what I was looking for.


The end result wasn't one of my favorites, but it turned out pretty good and the owner loved it. Like I said before...it's really difficult to get the depth of value/color right in dark dogs so my goal tends to be a few shades lighter and with a bit more contrast.
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« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2009 09:18:56 AM »

OH wow! thanks for posting progress shots....it's cool to see you go from "here..to...here"   very cool.
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« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2009 10:39:30 AM »

thank you for showing us your process - those are great portraits!
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« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2009 11:46:02 AM »

These are awesome and after some digging, I've bookmarked your site for the future Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2009 01:49:54 PM »

beautiful - I love the one of Gizmo, the composition is perfect.  My favourite is the one of the Boxer - reminds me of the one who used to live next door - Gusto.
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« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2009 04:13:16 PM »

Oh man!  Shocked they are beautiful! I want one!
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notanotherxerox
« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2009 06:01:26 PM »

Thanks so much for posting the pictures of the steps you take and for sharing the kind of paints you use! I'm going to look into them. Seeing how amazing pet portraits can look has made me start trying to draw my pets again, thanks for the inspiration!!!
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« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2009 09:22:41 PM »

Beautiful portraits! 

Can I send my 5 pets to you to paint?  They'll sit pretty for you..... Cheesy
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Opalgryphon
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2009 08:12:50 AM »

Mammallama - I don't do babysitting  Tongue  Nice try though!
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SnowyOwl
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2010 04:16:09 AM »

Your work is brilliant. You are a talented artist and have captured the animals' personalities. Thanks for sharing your technique. I would love to be able to paint watercolour this good! I visited your page on facebook.
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« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2010 08:27:05 AM »

Your pictures are so cute! You're a great artist.
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greytdogz
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2010 07:31:55 AM »

Those painting are absolutely beautiful!
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