Blog

Follow along on the portrait painting process here! Look for updates on select projects and gain a better understanding of what to expect from a Lil Spitfire commission...

Happy Campers

This was a special birthday surprise project for my client's wife, featuring her beloved pets. It celebrates and commemorates the friendship of pals Gita (the cat) and Coda (the dog, R.I.P.), with the two camping together in heaven. This project was especially unique because it incorporated a beautiful piece of wood belonging to his wife. It was a bit of a gamble using this as a surface for the piece and required a bit of wood filler and treated gesso in spots, but the finished product really leant itself to the woodsy feel of the camper theme!

Reference for Coda

Reference for Coda

Reference for Gita

Reference for Gita

Meet Tashi!

This is Tashi. Her name is Tibetan for "good fortune" or "auspiciousness."

She is a sweet and lovely Border Collie that has had an exciting and adventurous life. She's moved all over the country and has even seen the Dalhi Llama speak!

Tashi relaxing at home

Tashi relaxing at home

Her parents had the great idea of depicting her as an Indiana Jones-like adventurer in Lhasa with the Dalhi Llama's palace in the background.

Tibetan background

Tibetan background

With lots of helpful reference provided by Tashi's Mom, it was sketch time:

Tashi's sketch

Tashi's sketch

After approval of the sketch it was time to paint! Here is how it all turned out:

Tashi Delek

Tashi Delek

And, here is Tashi posing with her portrait:

Model Tashi with her portrait, Tashi Delek

Model Tashi with her portrait, Tashi Delek

Thuk jay chey!

Meet Lulu!

This is the beautiful and talented Lulu:

Lulu in action

Lulu in action

She is an agility dog and her Mom knew right away that happy and bouncy Lulu should be an acrobat for her portrait.

Retro acrobat concept

Retro acrobat concept

With reference for aerialist acrobats and photos of Miss Lulu, next came the drawing:

Design option

Design option

Design option

Design option

Once the design was decided upon, it was time to paint! And, this is how Lulu's portrait turned out:

Finished portrait

Finished portrait

Lulu approves!

Lulu and her portrait

Lulu and her portrait

Meet Vinnie the Dog

This is Vinnie. He is such a sweet boy that his owner decided to commission a portrait of him as a soda jerk -because Vinnie loves nothing more than to please, what job illustrates that better than an ice cream man?

Vinnie the Dog

Vinnie the Dog

Once the portrait concept and size/format was established, it was sketch time...

soda jerk Vinnie sketch

soda jerk Vinnie sketch

After sketch approval the painting process begins...

This generally follows these 3 steps:

1. Transferring sketch to canvas

2. Blocking out the under-painting

3. Final painting in oils

Finished portrait: Welcome to Vinnie's!

Finished portrait: Welcome to Vinnie's!