Mushroom Painting

mushrooms

Because I was gone quite a bit in September and October, I ended up doing only one small painting of some mushrooms as well as the Jayden portrait.  I went back to the kitchen for a little 7×5 after the larger Idaho landscape.  I have a matching canvas to this one, but it will probably have to wait for the Christmas rush to be over before I get to it, as well as some more Idaho landscapes.  On the day I was coming home from Boise, I was contacted for a 5 house commission and am currently working on that.  Hooray for that.

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Jayden’s portrait

Jayden’s portrait

After spending Jayden’s birthday with him, I decided that the next thing to do in the studio might be a portrait  of him.  As you might know, I rarely to portraits of people, but I thought this might be an exception.  I have done self portraits and a few of my kids with their pets, but that is about all.  I’ve never accepted a commission for one, even though I’ve been asked.  People are hard and while I can experiment on my own and have it wnd up in the circular file, I am not confident enough to accept outside work where someone is counting on it as a gift or remembrance.

I feel okay about this.  It’s not great, but it’s not too bad.  The mouth seems a bit off to me.  Sometimes that’s what happens.  I may try again next year around his birthday again.

Boise foothills finished

Boise foothills landscape

After about 4 sessions of painting, I am pretty well finished with the Boise painting. I’ll check again in a week or so and see what changes I think it needs, but I pretty happy with it so far.  At 16″x12″, this is the largest acrylic painting I have done in a very long time.  I tried to keep the style loose and concentrate on color rather than specific details.  For me, the heavy bodied paint works against minute brush strokes, even though I use a paint drying retardant and it thins it somewhat.  I’ll be ready to try my other big canvas with another Boise landscape soon.

Boise foothills

Boise foothills

We visited family in Boise, Idaho last month and of course I took pictures.  I ended up lugging my nice Canon camera with the wide angle telephoto lens on the plane with us so I could take some architectural photos, family pics, and some outdoor shots.  Lots to see in our first visit for our grandson’s birthday.

The landscape out there can be quite stark when the summer dryness hits.  There are some colors in the vegetation but it tends towards muted greens and silvers.  Flowers that looked like a small yellow sunflowers and other plants with tiny white ones were scattered about, but they tended to be widely spaced.  I look forward to seeing the spring explosion next year.  This particular spot also had some interesting eroded areas which add a rich orange color.

I decided to try a slightly larger canvas (16×12) and maybe keep it in a little looser style this time around.  the size will help carry it.

Kurt, colored

Kurt the cat

Kurt has been watercolored and sent to his new home.  As befitting his fat and surly personality, it took him five days to arrive, even though posted with priority mail.  I think I got the eyes squinty enough to indicate his peevishness.  The fatness is not so apparent since he is laying down, but I bet he parks himself in that chair for extended periods of time.

The client was pleased and says he has one more cat for me to do.  I’ll have to wait for his pictures though, as Digi is said to be photo-phobic.

Kurt the cat

Pencil-up of Kurt

Kurt, inked

After I sent Peiper the dog, the owners came back and wanted a portrait of Kurt the cat. Evidently, Kurt the cat is fat and surly, so I will have to try and capture that. It’s all in the eyes, I think.  They need to be a bit squinty.  After our own crabby cat Perkins, I know that look of perpetual irritation quite well.  LOL

This is also a bit different in that I will have some background in it.  Rather than just a head shot, I will be adding the chair that Kurt is sitting in in order to imply his fatness.  So far, so good.

The commission house is complete

All done

I finished the last commission and it has arrived in its new home.  I neglected to take a final, final photo for some reason.  I guess I just forgot in the attempt to get it out and now it is too late.  This is pretty close though.  I had added more depth to the shadows and a bit more color to the landscaping and the little squirrel.  I forgot to add some color to his tail and just saw it.   My photography never looks as good as the real thing which is why I always hesitate to send the client much more than pencil previews.  Besides, that would ruin the wow factor I hope for when the package is opened.

Up next is Peiper the dog’s house mate Kurt, the cat.  The client liked the first pet portrait so much, he decided that Kurt needed his own.  He was described ans fat and surly, so I hope I can capture that.

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