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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Standard Poodle Portrait

This standard poodle portrait commission gave me the fun opportunity to use lots of thick, rich paint in the subject as well as the background. It is such a beautiful breed -- he already had a lot to offer the portrait: textures, expression and interesting features that translate well in a painting.

Trio
10 x 8 inches, Oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson

Stage 1: The sketch. I loosely painted in the features with contour lines that would be easy to follow. My goal was to capture the likeness of Trio at this stage which made the rest of the painting so much easier. It was time well spent.

Stage 2: Blocking in. It helped to squint my eyes as I looked at the subject at this stage so that I could simplify what I saw and block in all the major shapes and values with a relatively large brush.
Stage 3: Completing the portrait. From here on out it was time to let loose and enjoy the creative process.  Using lots of paint and coarse brushes I wanted to communicate to the viewer Trio's gorgeous coat and contrasting marble-like eyes. He was a joy to paint.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Pastel Portrait Commission

I'm comfortable painting portraits in oil. Even though learning and growing as an artist is a never ending journey, I realize its easy to slip into a rut and do the creative process the same way every time. Therefore it was a nice challenge for me to work in pastel again. My brain had to wake up, look around and be alert. It was refreshing to pick up chalk instead of a brush...to press and rub and play with layers of color on paper.

Baby Girl Portrait Commission
14 x 11 inches, Pastel on Paper
Rita Salazar Dickerson

Painting a portrait with pastels seemed so appropriate for this beautiful baby girl. I was able to create soft lines and edges that matched the mood of this commission.



After lightly laying my first contour lines down, I began working with her eyes before moving down to her nose and then the rest of her face. It's so much easier not to smudge this way. I try to complete as much as possible the first time around so that I don't have to keep going in and reworking it.


 My client kindly sent this photo to me of the portrait matted and framed. A well chosen frame is such an important part of the completed pastel. I was so happy with the results.