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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Miniature "Moses" - WIP 3

Here's an update on the Miniature 5" x 5" piece of "Moses" the serval cat. It's taken me a little longer than planned, simply because of the holiday season, but I'm working on it here and there when I have a few minutes. I'm enjoying this piece, and am excited to see it finished. These pictures follow from the place I left off in the last post, even though they were each done on different days.
This first picture (above) is the base layer of the cheek, just before burnishing, which is in the following image:

This image (above) shows adding some detail to the face and cheek.
This image (above) shows more detail in the face, and the start of the neck. In the reference photo, the neck is a little blurry - almost a little out of focus, and I intend to replicate that. There is less hair texture in the neck area, as it's not a main focus point for the picture.

And I just realized that I haven't kept up with my "What's in the DVD player?" segment... I've been through a good number of shows already since I last mentioned I was watching "The Simpsons" DVDs, and right now I am watching the third season of "Futurama". I got the first season of "King of the Hill" on DVD for Christmas, and I think that will be next in line.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A thought on pet portraits...

I was recently asked for a quote to do a portrait of a family member's beloved cat. It gave me the thought to write a bit of a note regarding the concept of pet portraits, and likewise the pricing of such projects. Basically, I have a set per-square-inch price that I try to follow as strictly as possible when quoting commissions or pricing my original works. This price, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) means that most people will not commission pet portraits. I say "or fortunately" because it ultimately gives me a way to politely say "no" to these projects without actually saying no. I quote the price, and the client realizes it is out of their price range, and opts out of the project. In this one case, I really actually WANT to do the portrait. I quite like the cat, and think he would make a great portrait. However, I am not comfortable in any way with giving a "family discount" or giving a better deal just because I really want to do the project. And so, I quoted my normal price, and offered the option of a payment plan, and mentioned it would be a few months before I could fit it in anyways (encouraging them to maybe save some money up for the project). Really, I can't "poo-poo" on pet portraits, as that is how I got my start as an artist. However, this is no longer my area of interest, and I feel that as a wildlife artist, I have to stay away from these projects as much as possible. They consume a massive amount of time, and result in a piece of art that may be special to one person, but ultimately is not going to have any mass appeal to the public that I am trying to market my work to. I've decided to only take on projects that meet the following specifications: a) I actually WANT to do the portrait (an interesting breed of dog, or a particular cat that I know and like) and b) I know the client is completely comfortable with the pricing. In most cases, either a) or b) (or both) are not met, and therefore the project doesn't go forward. I have a lot of respect for artist that make a career and a name for themselves as pet portrait artists, but it is not a route that I want to take. And so - I hope my family member plans to go ahead with the portrait, despite the high price, and I will enjoy the project - but I understand completely if they decide against it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Keeping in touch!

Well I know I said I'd post weekly - and I do intend to keep that promise. However, we all know how things get around the holidays. With family out of province, and hosting a big holiday dinner this year, I have been quite busy with those additional tasks. Not only that, but my painting has recently branched out onto the walls... of my dining nook! I painted it a brand new color, and love it entirely, although I severely underestimated how much work it would be. Just wanted all of you faithful fans and readers to know that I'm still here, and my blog will definitely not have another six month stretch with no posts! Wishing all of you out there a happy holiday season, no matter how (or if) you celebrate.