A third lily pond painting

Pond pencil up

First layers down

I have enjoyed these pond paintings much more than I thought I would.  It is the first time I have been even remotely satisfied with what I have done with acrylics since college (low those MANY years ago).

Since I felt that the relatively bigger size of the lily pads in the previous painting was harder for me to deal with, I decided to go bigger in the canvas (14″x11″) and smaller again for the pads.  This is actually a rather large size painting for me, so that added its own bit of stress.

I put down most of the water before I moved on to the lily pads.  It seemed easier to place most of the background down first and then add the vegetation on top of it.  Then I could also shade under the pads and adjust the water to add depth and interest.  I was pretty pleased at this point, much more so than with pond painting 2.  Smaller pads were definitely the way to go for me.  Who knows where this will lead in my acrylic adventure.  It’s been fun so far.

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I thought number 2 was done

I thought it was finished

But now it’s redone

After I finished the painting in the first photo, I thought I was done.  I had added depth by increasing the yellows and oranges in the pads and yellow ocher to the water to make it less monochromatic.  But, still, the more it sat, the less I liked it, even as I worked on another, larger one.  I fussed with the colors more, taking out some details with broader brush strokes and putting more yellow ocher in the water, but something still wasn’t right.

One day, right after I had cleaned and put down the brushes on the third painting, it occurred to me  to just take out a few pads and thus increase the amount of water in the background.  I needed to think about it, but the next day I still thought it might be a good way to go.  So I did it.

In the end, I think I worked more on this little painting than the other two larger ones combined.  Still, I think it was worth it.

A new lily pad painting

Pencil drawing

Two days in on the first paint layer

I enjoyed the last lily pad painting so much that I decided to do another one.  At 8×8, this one is smaller, but the lily pads are bigger.  This poses some painting detail issues for me. How much do I show.  I am not very good with details with acylics yet.  The paint always feels too thick to make fine lines , no matter the brush size, and the thickness of paint varies too much as I lay it down.

This is two days in on the first layer of paint.  Already I can see I am going to have problems.  I don’t want it to look unblended and overdone, but it seems to be heading that way anyway.  In the first one, the pads were so small that I could indicate them with just a few brush strokes. Here, they are so big that I have to add some detail.  But the more I add, the less I like it.  The water underneath needs depth, but the spaces between are so small that that is giving me trouble too. This one is going to have a lot of fussing to it.

Lily pad painting, done

I think it’s done

I think I am finished with this.  The more I let it set, the happier I get.  This is not normal for me.  LOL  Usually, I start to see all of the flaws as the days go on, but this one is growing on me.  I feel like I captured the water and reflections pretty well and the multiple layers of the lily pads as well.  The yellow pads help to layer the vegetation in a pleasing way.

I never thought that Boise would give me inspiration for a water feature painting over the buildings and the foothills.  These photos from the Depot were taken almost on a lark, but I’m glad I did.

Water lilies painting

Underpainting and layout

First layer of color

I wanted to paint a bit after the Christmas commissions and selected a photo from one of last year’s trips to Boise. The Old Train Depot overlooks a lovely water feature and I took quite a few photos of it as well as the Depot itself. Here is the start of the water lilies pond painting. Monet, I’m not, but I like the start.

Trixie the corgi

Painted

 

After a lot of tweaking, the corgi portrait is finished and in the client’s hands.  I think I must have fiddled with this for days longer than I normally would, continuing to adjust the ears and neckline along the way.  It took me quite a while before I felt that the “corginess” was apparent.  The eyes are no longer buggy and the nose sits properly on the face.  I was making adjustments even into the day it was mailed when I scrubbed out a bit of fur color right above the eyes.

But whew.  The client is giving this to her husband and we had to have rather clandestine communications along the way.  She was worried he would find out before hand and spoil her surprise.  I assured her that the mailing box would have no indication of what was inside, just her name as the recipient and mine as the sender.  I am happy to say it got there safely and secretly.  She told me that she cried when she saw it.  It makes me so happy to know that this fulfilled her desires for her very special gift.

Corgi dog portrait

corgi pencil drawing

Inked

My last Christmas commission was a memorial pet portrait for a dog that had very recently crossed the rainbow bridge. I was pretty nervous about it because the client wanted the ear position changed from what the photo showed – to facing forward instead of to the side.  There was no chance of getting another picture, so I just had to make do.  And with the death so recent, the image in my client’s mind was very strong and emotional.  I needed to get this right, even if the photo was not exactly what I needed it to be.  I looked at an additional photo from her that showed the upright ear position, but was too blurry to use and the client preferred this angle anyway.  I also checked a bunch of online corgi photos for additional references on ear shape and position and the width between them.

As you can see, I did change the neckline on the right side and the ears a bit. The eyes were a bit “buggy” and the nose slightly wonky at this stage, but those would be fixed once the colors went on.  I was more concerned that “Trixie” didn’t quite look corgi enough at this stage. Tweaking would need to continue.

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