Monday, April 28, 2008

More of Miracle

Well, I thought I had done all I could do with the painting of Miracle but I wasn't satisfied. Even though the photo references didn't show any detail, a friend pointed out some things that are common to all cats and that gave me direction for tweaking this painting.

I'm still not sure this is finished but I'll sit on it for a while and look at it again with fresh eyes.

Jan Gibson

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's a Cat - I'm a Chicken

Well, this is Miracle and I apologize for not sharing the steps I took to get here but I just got to painting and didn't stop to scan or take photos. In every photo I've seen of this cat, he looks like a stuffed animal with Little Orphan Annie eyes so I guess I've done ok with him. I wish I had seen him in person but don't know that that would have done any good either. All of his features are somewhat of a guess and I see a couple of things to tweak but overall, this looks very much like the photos I have of him. I'm calling him finished unless I get more photos that show him a little better.

I love black cats and don't think they're unlucky at all unless it's unlucky for them to have been born black. I know shelters have a hard time adopting out black animals period and I don't know why. It could be that they suffer more in our Southern summer heat and humidity but I don't think that would matter to an indoor animal. I'm really partial to black animals and have two black Lab mixes. If I could have a cat, it also would be black. If you would like to adopt an animal from your local shelter, please give the blacks ones your attention first.

Jan Gibson

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Follow Along - a Miracle WIP

I'm painting a portrait of a solid black cat in watercolors. The photo references all show the cat as a solid black mass with flashed yellow eyes. The cats name is Miracle and it will indeed be a miracle if I can pull off this one! I decided to post my work in progress (WIP) here so I'll be encouraged to keep going with it!

Here's the first post - (it's more than the basic first sketch as I didn't decide to do a WIP until I'd already gotten this far.)

Miracle WIP !

My paper (Arches 140# Rough) has been taped down with painter's tape mostly to keep a clean edge but also to help with buckling. I'm using various brands of artist's quality watercolor paint. The eyes won't stay the way they are now as I'm using a yellow underpainting. The violet/lavender colors are also areas of shading that I picked up by using my photo program to brighten the photos enough to get the barest hint of detail.

OK, this may take a while so don't give up on me! I'm just feeling my way along here & may even have to do some backtracking!

Until next time ----------------

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back Again!

Sorry for the delay in adding new posts. I'm trying the Opera browser and for some reason, it's difficult to log into the blogs with it. So, for now, I'm back to Firefox and posting again!

I've also been busy setting up a display and adding notecards to the inventory of my local pet food store. While both the store & I are in the boonies, the store carries quality pet food that other stores don't carry and that attracts customers from as far as 50 miles away.

The cards have done well so far even though they have only been in the store since the 15th of this month. They're printed from both my digital and traditional media paintings and I've tried to make sure they're top quality and as appealing as possible. Since they have some basic contact information on the back of the card, they should also serve as advertising for my pet portrait work.

I don't know why I find it so difficult to push my art but I think this is common to many artists. I was sooooo happy when I was actually asked to set up a display in the store! Hopefully, this will be the start of a really "good thing" for both me and the store owner.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

More Magnolia - Pushing the Darks

"Japanese Magnolia"
Jan Gibson

I had a very kind soul email me to suggest that the background could go even darker to make the flower really sing. I think this is about as dark as I can go with it now! lol

Why is it that newbies to painting/drawing are so reluctant to "push the darks"? Well, I know the answer to that - it's a fear of ruining the painting. Fortunately, this was an experimental piece and I wasn't afraid of destroying a masterpiece! lol

OK, you've seen the progression of this painting - any more suggestions, comments?

"Glowing" Japanese Magnolia

"Japanese Magnolia"
watercolor on Arches Cold Pressed
Jan Gibson

Well, I finished the magnolia painting yesterday evening and I don't know whether the yellow underpainting gives the painting a glow or not. I think in this painting, it gives a sort of antique look and I wonder if the technique is better suited for some paintings than for others.

I will probably use this technique again though as I certainly can see the possibilities for it's use.

I'm still working on the colored pencil painting but hope to have it finished in a few days. We're supposed to get more rain and cooler weather through the weekend and my husband has his own project to work on so I should be free to paint as much as I want.

I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Day to Play

Today started off pretty gloomy and rainy so I decided to try a watercolor technique that I learned from Susan Harrison-Tustain where she uses a yellow underpainting to give her subjects a glow. The Japanese magnolia below isn't finished yet but I wanted to see it online to see where I need to go with it next. It looks slightly more vibrant here than it actually does in person. I hope I can continue on with it and give it that glow that Susan speaks of!

"Japanese Magnolia"
Jan Gibson

The second painting was done a couple of days ago and is colored pencil on drafting film. I'm pretty pleased with it but the film wouldn't take as many layers as I needed to get the proper shading. I'll probably do more with the drafting film as I like how quickly a painting can be completed as opposed to colored pencil on paper. The translucent film was backed with a textured scrapbook paper. The reference photo was taken by Kalilo at the Stock.Xchng and is used with permission.

painting by
Jan Gibson

All in all, today has been a pretty good play day as I also started another colored pencil painting on drafting film. This new painting will probably be a little slow going as I'm still feeling my way using film. So, not only did I get to play, but we got some much-needed rain!