Gunner and Russ (child/dog portrait)

Just finished this child/pet double portrait commissioned by a lovely lady in Marquette MI. The little boy, Gunner, is her first grandchild, who loves the family dog, Russ, very much. (And the feeling is obviously mutual!)

But what I loved was Gunner’s grandmother’s comment when I first emailed her the finished painting: “Oh my, the portrait of those two is just how we should spend our days…  ”

Gunner & Russ child/dog portrait(“Have you hugged your child/dog/lover/friend today?” may sound like a trite bumper sticker saying. But I’m going to ask it of you anyway. If you haven’t, here’s your homework for the day: go give someone a hug!)

I actually had the presence of mind to shoot in-progress photos of this one.

Here is the underdrawing, based on a sketch made from the reference photo. In the original photo Russ (the dog) was chewing a bone, and it didn’t look very good. At first I thought I’d take a separate picture of him and merge the two reference photos into one drawing, but he just didn’t get how to pose for the camera. So I ended up moving Russ’s head and front leg a bit from the original photo. Luckily, it worked out.

I started with a very light wash of golden yellow. It’s not noticeable in the final painting (you can’t see it very well in the photo, either), but gives the piece a bit of warm glow.

under drawing Gunner & Russ portrait
Gunner & Russ underdrawing

Next, I went in and established the first layer of color in the figures. Most watercolorists work from light to dark, but I like to establish a value range right away, so I tend to go in and put in at least some of my darkest darks right at the beginning.  Here, it’s the back leg of the pants and the pupils of the eyes.

Gunner & Russ 1st layer
Gunner & Russ – first layer

For the next pass, I layed in the shadows on Gunner’s face and bare foot, and on Russ.

Gunner & Russ Layer 2
Gunner & Russ, Layer 2

Layer 3: From here it was simply a matter of deepening the shadows and adding details. (I love shadows because they often are full of color!)

Gunner & Russ layer 3
Gunner & Russ, Layer 3

I went in a few more times between layer 3 and the final layer but didn’t remember to take photos. Oh, well. But here is the final piece one more time (just to keep the sequence in order):

Gunner & Russ child/dog portrait

Now, take a good look at the pure joy on little Gunner’s face, and go give someone a hug!

(And don’t forget to give yourself one, too!) 🙂

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

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Apple Picking Illustrations

More illustrations for the Partnership With Earth project. One of our goals is to illustrate examples of activities which are not only eco-friendly, but which promote bonding with others and/or with Nature.

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

Illustration of man harvesting applesMore illustrations for the Partnership With Earth project. One of our goals is to illustrate examples of activities which are not only eco-friendly, but which promote bonding with others and/or with Nature.  Like harvesting apples with one’s family…(I didn’t include the apple trees because they’re part of the background scene these will go into.)

Illustration: pregnant woman picking apples
Illustration: toddler peeking between legsIllustration: basket of apples

If there had been room it would have been nice to include a group of people pressing apples for cider

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

Watercolor Portrait: Willa & Dusty

watercolor portrait of child and horse
"Willa and Dusty," watercolor portrait, 22 x 14"

This portrait was done as a demo in one of my classes.  I used a photo of one of my daughter’s Pony Club friends and her favorite pony, Dusty.

This painting was featured for the month of May in the 2009 Marshfield Clinic art calendar.

Did you enjoy this post? Anne

Watercolor Portrait: Clara and Pavlov

watercolor child and pet portrait of girl and dog
"Clara and Pavlov," portrait on watercolor canvas, 12 x 12"

Finally finished the portrait of my daughter Clara and our dog Pavlov.  This is the first and last time I’ll ever attempt to paint watercolor on canvas.  Unfortunately I forget what brand watercolor canvas it was – I think Fredrix.  I had a very hard time achieving the depth of tone I wanted, and the paint often seemed to wash off with subsequent layering.  I like the watercolor boards a lot better!

But I am glad to have caught my daughter’s affection for Pavlov! 🙂

Did you enjoy this post? Anne