Archive for September, 2008

Heather portrait…finally finished!

Heather...oil on canvas/hardboard panel

Heather...oil on canvas/hardboard panel

Ta-da!  Here it is…finally!  I’m happy with it now. 

I painted over that helicoptor-sized pink bow I had put atop her head in an attempt to balance the big pink shoes (scroll down a few posts if you missed that monstrosity of a hair ornament) .  I solved the exposed legs problem by painting the dress longer.  Cropping solved the shoe problem.

I’ve been asked who gets this portrait when it is dry.  In the short-term I need to keep it for a project I’m working on.  (Some of you know what I’m talking about, but I hesitate to announce it to the world at large, lest I jinx it. )  Eventually I’ll give the portrait to Heather’s parents, I suppose, if they like it…I haven’t heard one way or another. 

I may also put it on ImageKind — that’s a terrific service that makes gicleé prints of original art on demand.  That way if, say, Heather’s grandparents wanted a copy of the painting they could order an archival fine art quality print.  In the next day or two I’ll put a link to my ImageKind gallery there on the right side of this page.

As always, I welcome — and long for! — some feedback.  Is there anyone out there?!?

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September 30, 2008 at 7:04 pm 1 comment

Heather portrait…almost finished!

Heather...18 h x 24 w...oil on canvas/hardboard panel

Heather...18 h x 24 w...oil on canvas/hardboard panel

You may remember that my last post of the Heather portrait-in-progress revealed my frustrations with several aspects of the painting. (If you don’t remember, scroll down this blog page.)  

I solicited advice from Heather’s fan club and from two other artist/painters.  Almost everyone agreed that the background colors of the other version were too bright.  Howard B. pointed out that I had made her body too big for her head.  John W. of Wales suggested I reduce the size of the deck.  Several people said the shoes were “hideous”. 

I agreed with all those suggestions, so I struggled with those “hideous” shoes, and the background colors and I kept painting the deck smaller and smaller.

But it was while I was painting Heather’s beautiful eyes that it struck me — why show the deck or her shoes at all???  The improtant part of this painting is not her dress or shoes or even her legs…it is her lovely doll-like face.  Duh!

So, I cut off all the extraneous stuff and painted her dress down over her knees.

So what’s with that hair bow, you ask?  Well, that is a remnant of all my machinations with those !#$%* hot pink shoes.  I felt I needed an element in the composition to balance the big pink clod-hoppers, so I added the bow.  Now it sticks out like a beacon.  I’m going to paint a white rose over it.

PLEASE, kind readers, tell me what you think.  Use the comment form or send me an email —  jandi(at)jandismall(dot)com

September 27, 2008 at 9:24 pm Leave a comment

Rocky…a painting of a handsome fellow

Rocky...12x12 oil on canvas cradled panel

Rocky...12x12 oil on canvas cradled panel

Meet Rocky.  He’s a Red Tick Hound and Beagle cross.  That combo makes for a handsome dog, huh?  This is a painting I did for his “mother” to use at a fundraiser her rescue group, Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland, held recently…and of course, she gets to keep the portrait of her charming boy.  (I’m going to put a link to the Beagle Rescue website on this blog…look for it on the right side of the page.) 

There are so many wonderful rescue groups working in just about every community across the country.  I’d like help out all of them, by adopting dogs and by donating money and time, but I’m only one person and I’m close to my maximum allowable (by my husband!) number of dogs.  So, I donate custom pet portrait gift certificates to rescue group fundraisers as often as I can. 

Connecting with Rocky’s mom was pure serendipity: she ordered some shampoo from my other website www.itchy-dog.com and she mentioned she was involved with dog rescue.  I volunteered a portrait and the timing was perfect as they had the annual Beagle Bash coming in just a month.  And guess who the high bidder was?  Yup, Rocky’s mom…so I will be painting Rocky’s “sister”, Carly, very soon.

September 20, 2008 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

Heather portrait, part 2

This is the rough second stage of the portrait of Heather.  I don’t know what other painters call it but I refer to this stage as the “color block” step.  That is, the colors are blocked in in approximately their final locations, but there are no details and there is lots of spill-over from one shape to the adjacent one.  With these big flat blocks of color in place I can see where the problems are.  And there are a bunch of problems.

First, the background colors are overpowering.  I think I should be able to suggest tropical foliage without using such bright greens.  Second, the deck is too big and too light in color.  Third, where her dress meets the chair arm on the left side of the canvas is awkward.  I painted the dress longer than it was in real life and now I’m confused about what to do with it at that spot…so, I will probably shorten the dress.  Fourth, the shoes are too pink; I’ll tone those down.  I painted the shoes with smaller straps, but I think I’ll make them have a looped tie on the top of the strap for interest. 

Originally I wanted to make Heather’s dress white linen with an elaborate Victorian lace collar and cuffs on the short sleeves.  What was I thinking?!?  I can’t paint elaborate lace…and I don’t even want to try because it would detract from her beautiful little face.  I’ll put 90% of my time and effort into painting her face, arms and legs…and let the clothes, chair, deck and foliage be sketchy and painterly.

The next step is to fix those problems I mentioned, above.  If you, kind reader, see anything that you think should be changed or added, please use the comment form to tell me about it.  I welcome all feedback.  Really.

September 2, 2008 at 3:54 pm 1 comment


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