Monday, October 20, 2014

Pet Portrait: Comet and Rose


 Finished this pet portrait for a new customer over the weekend. It was such a wonderful feeling to bring it to her home and see her
reaction. I was so glad to know I had exceeded her expectations and captured the spirit of her beautiful greyhounds (which were super sweet, by the way!)

I thought it would be fun to share the process of the painting here on my blog.

I started with a sketch which I did from a photo the customer emailed to me. We discussed over email the size and details. I told her I would not proceed until she approved the sketch, which she did!

I then transfered the sketch to Arches 100% cotton watercolor paper by using my light table. I love this stuff! It is worth the extra money because of the way the paint goes on it. Perfect. The light table I use it an ArtGraph light pad. It is so easy to store and to move around in my small space.




 Here I have colored in the eyes. It seems like no matter what, I don't love a portrait until the eyes are done. Then there is life. I love painting and drawing eyes.

 When I started painting in the brindle of the other dog, I was really intimidated. But as you will see, it came out lovely. Beautiful pattern. You can also see in this picture that I have added ears to the brindle dog. I saw another picture of the customer's dogs and found some where the ears where up. Just had to add them in! The customer agreed.





 I was really getting excited at this point. It amazes me that my hands can do this stuff!
Here they are all ready for a nap! The customer asked for red pillows and a blue collar and I think they will be perfect with her decor in her home.

It was such a pleasure to create something she can treasure for years. And I loved meeting her and her sweet dogs!

If you would like to have a pet portrait done, please feel free to email me at lauraparkhurstillustrator@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

A Painting a Day - Day 46

Sometimes when I am painting I feel so nervous. It squeezes my chest and I can't breathe. Irrational as it may sound, I completely expect to ruin every painting I start. The perfectionist in my is my saboteur. She likes to sneak around inside my head and just when I think she has finally been subdued, there she is again, warning me of the certain impending fail that is about to happen.

Funny thing is, every painting seems to work out okay. Not to say that everyone of them is all that great. But none of them have been right down awful!

So I struggle to let myself create because it is risky. What if I waste my time? What if I can't get one done before I fall down from a lack of sleep? What if I fail?!?!? What if, what if, what if, blah blah blah! So much useless worry.

This little sea horse if my offering for today. It is painting #46 and it is available for sale for $46. It is 8 x 10 and ready to frame. If you would like to buy it please email me at lauraparkhurstillustrator@gmail.com. The first person I hear from can purchase it. Also, I am continuing to take requests for future subject matter. After all I have 54 more days to paint! Please leave a suggestion in the comments below! As always, thanks for coming by. Hope you can make it back tomorrow!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 45

Well I am back to it. I got a few things done, some things caught up and some extra sleep. I have to admit that every time I post a painting, I wrestle with self doubt. I am rarely satisfied with my paintings when I post them anymore. I think the 8 x 10 format is hard to finish in a day. So don't be surprised if I go back to 5 x 7 simply because that size is better suited for finishing a painting in a day.

As I have been doing these paintings I have enjoyed all the experimenting I have gotten to do. This painting I did with a loose feel to the green background. I let the water and the paint do what it wanted. I like the edges it created as the painted pushed against the water.

I am also enjoying painting dogs. When I was growing up it was horses, which I still love to draw and paint, but dogs come in such vast variety that each one I do is so different even if there are close similarities in individuals. It's been fun studying the different breeds.

This German Shepherd is my 45th painting and I could tell I was refreshed because he evolved on the paper very naturally. It is painted on 8 x 10 paper. This painting is available for sale for $45. If you would like to buy it, please email me at lauraparkhurstillustrator@gmail.com. The first person I hear from can purchase it.

Thanks for coming back to see my art work and follow my 100 day challenge. Almost half way there! I can't believe I have come this far. Hope you will stick with me to the end!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 44

I am amazed everyday since I started this 100 day challenge at the response I have gotten from people I know and people I only know online. I so appreciate it. It has been inspiring and energizing. I have not worked this hard since I had a newborn!

I am going to say that I need to take a few days to catch up on somethings going on in my life. It's like that sometimes. You make plans but things come up and put a bump in the road and it's not necessarily a bad thing! But there are only 24 hours in the day. So over the next few days I am going to catch up and I will have a new painting to post on Sunday evening.

This is a painting I did about a year ago. It was hiding in a folder. I thought if someone would like to, they could give it a new home. I painted it after I had seen an I MAX movie about dolphins. They played with a piece of seaweed under the sparkle of the surface. It was so beautiful that I need to capture the memory.

This painting is for sale for $44. If you would like to buy it, please email me at lauraparkhurstillustrator@gmail.com. The first person I hear from can buy it.

Thanks for being a part of my art journey. Thanks for your encouragement. Knowing people are visiting my art has given me the energy to get through these 44 days. Hope you check in again on Sunday evening and I will pick this up again! Promise!

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 43

Today I wanted to get back to telling stories. This is from Aesop's story of the fox and the crow and the price one pays for their vanity. In the case of the crow, she lost her cheese to the flattering fox.

Illustrating for stories has had a special appeal to me since I was in high school. In sophomore English we studied the Odyssey, I drew portraits of the major female characters as well as the main Greek goddesses who lived on Olympus. Drawing pictures for a story helps to make the story feel closer. I think children love illustrated stories because of that. Pictures invite them into a book. Words make the pictures happen. Words in well told stories are like an elegant drawing with a satisfying composition. Illustrations are like color added to the drawing, enriching and enlivening it.

This illustration is my offering for day 43. It is available for sale for $43. If you would like to purchase it please email me at lauraparkhurstillustrator@gmail.com. The first person I hear from can buy it. It is 8 x 10 and ready for a frame. I think it would look lovely in a child's room or any room for that matter!

Thanks so much for coming to see my art today. Hope you can come by again tomorrow for a new painting!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 42

Time Management. I am failing at it.

But with every failure there is the opportunity to learn and do better the next time. So much of it is about making choices. Now some choices are already made, like my family needs to eat and I am generally the cook. My house gets messy and training kids to clean up after themselves takes time, as does the actual cleaning. My other job takes time. I can't just paint full time - yet. And even if I could, I would still have to manage projects to fit them in and then have the discernment to know when I can't make a deadline. Other things though are choices... like that television show I am addicted to. Maybe I need to go cold turkey. And Facebook, though it is making my connections with people possible during this project, I don't really need to stare at another cat video. The little things are like termites in the frame of a house. Over time, their little jaws can eat it all away.

So I need to cut out distractions. I need to work more and zone out less unless the zoning out actually benefits and doesn't just waste time. If I want to succeed at this, fat needs to be trimmed.  Entertainment tends to be the fat right now. It can wait until later.

Finearttips.com has a lot of great articles to help artist with their careers. Here is a link to a helpful article on time management.

This is painting #42. I am posting late again because of poor time management. But I will figure it out. I know I will. This painting of what are commonly called parakeets but are actually called budgerigars, is 8 x 10 and available for sale for $42. As I researched for this painting, I found out these little birds are from Australia originally. The wild ones fly in huge flocks looking for water and food. They all are green like the bird on the left. Since their domestication, they have developed mutations which have resulted in the blue color of the bird on the right, but also birds that are all white, all yellow and variations in between. Cute little birds! And they are happiest when they have a mate.

If you would like to buy this painting, please email me at lauraparkhurstillustrator@gmail.com. The first person I hear from can purchase it. And if you have a suggestion for an animal you would like to see me paint, please leave your suggestion in the comments below. Thanks for coming by to see my artwork. Hope you can come by again tomorrow for a new picture!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 41

I have been taking requests for subject matter for my 100 paintings. This is a bearded dragon. Like the hedgehog and the opossum, I have never done a detailed picture of a lizard before. I wanted to experiment with this because I was leaning so heavily on the reference photo. The pattern in the background I did with a resist that kept the paper white in the places it was applied. I used it on the lizards scales too. I also let the water and color puddle where it chose to create a cloudy effect on the background and the lizard itself.  I like how it turned out.

This was also and exercise in sticking with a job. I am finishing this really late and I knew once I got the sketch done that this was going to take a lot longer to execute than some of my other paintings. So every time I felt the urge to stop and take a break, I resolved to stay with it. All the little detail take time, but in the end it is worth it.

This 41st painting is available for sale for $41. It is 8 x 10 and ready to frame. If you would like to buy this painting, please email me at lauraparkhurstillustrator@gmail.com. The first person I hear from can purchase it.

Thanks so much for coming to see my art. Hope you can come by again tomorrow!