My first attempt at acrylic painting after many years

About a month ago, and for the first time in years, I tried my hand at an acrylic painting on birch panel. I had to reacquaint myself with how fast acrylics dry, prepping the board, controlling my clumsy brushwork, and cleaning up—some of the reasons I had mostly abandoned traditional work for digital. While my first piece may have been a little too ambitious, there is something about the look and feel of traditional work that is difficult to reproduce digitally so I put the first piece aside to revisit at a later date.

This past weekend I painted a pet portrait on 8" x 10" canvas. It was for some friends, and of their beloved cat, Arthur. I think it turned out quite well. I suppose all that blundering around on the first piece helped with this latest one. I hope to do more of this because sometimes it's nice being able to hold a physical piece of art. 

Inktober (Day 2 and 3)

I just found out about #Inktober where you draw something new in ink everyday for the month of October and I decided to join in.  We'll see how long I last. I missed Day 1 but here are my pen portrait sketches for Oct 2nd and 3rd.  Can you guess who they are? Cheers!

A trip down memory lane

About a month ago, a friend asked me to paint a portrait of his beloved childhood family dog—who has since passed on—to give as a birthday gift to his dad. There were a few challenges to overcome: a short time frame in which to complete and few useful reference photos to work from. In fact, some of the source material were screenshots taken from videotape. Despite that, I think I managed to capture the likeness, and my friend and his dad happily agree.

Dog portrait: step

While taking some time off to attend the Toronto International Film Festival, I had some time to work on the dog portrait and thought I'd share a close-up of the face. At this stage, I've started to add in the details and once I'm satisfied with the general direction and shape of the fur, I will soften some areas while leaving some with higher detail.

On another note, I've been painting a skeleton while waiting in line for the movies using Sketchbook Pro (iPad version).  I'll post it when it's finished.

Sabrina, meet Sabrina

Yesterday, my friend forwarded me this photo of her cat, Sabrina, posing in front of the portrait I painted and I just had to share.  The expression is so comical!  I hope you enjoy. :)

Sabrina, meet Sabrina

And here is the final digital painting printed on canvas wrap. I'll soon be posting photos of a new commission I'm working on of a Samoyed-collie mix.

Sabrina commission complete

Well, this one took a little longer than expected, circumstances not withstanding but she's finally finished. The client is happy and I'm looking forward to my next project.

Sabrina - step 3 - paint

Before getting too involved in the details, I've laid in some flat colour with which to show the client. I've added the pillow colour and flooring on different layers so that I can make quick changes should the need arise.

Sabrina - step 2 - ink completed

I've completed inking the piece digitally and have submitted it to the client to ensure she's happy with the likeness.  I could also have prepared this traditionally in pencil but I often find it more efficient to do this in Photoshop because I can add another layer underneath to show where the bones sit.  This helps me to see any obvious errors in the pose and to see how the fur will sit.