Tuesday, November 12, 2013

From Whiskers to Hair Bows

Don't ask me why in the past few weeks I've decided that my painting was to take such opposites but I have been focused on two portraits that couldn't be further apart.  I usually paint landscapes and have little experience with portrait painting.  Actually, truth be told this pretty much sums up my portrait experience so you can imagine the struggles I have faced with these. 

I wanted the toothless old prospector to be holding his gold bag tightly in his hand.  A twinkle in his eye and a smile across his lips showing his excitement for his good fortune.  As I researched old photos for inspiration, I noticed a number of prospectors actually had a dog as a companion and that is when I decided that this composition needed a furry friend to make it complete.  For the past week I thought I was going to call this piece "The Big Payout" but today I changed my mind and decided this one was going to be called "The Big Reward".  Not only was this old guy one of the lucky ones to actually succeed in making a fortune but he also has the rewards of sharing his excitement with his faithful companion.  You can just see the excitement on this dogs face as he showers this his master with wet kisses.  

"Big Rewards"- 12x16 Original Oil Painting

I started this piece about 2 weeks ago and have been working on it of and on.  My inspiration is my beautiful granddaughter Katherine.  She now has enough light blonde hair that you can pretend to put it in piggy tails and huge hazel eyes but at this age you couldn't tell for sure what color her eyes were going to be and her hair was really more about the lack of.  Her mother compensated by always having her wear giant hair bows. This composition grabbed me because of her little hand outstretched and so large in proportion to her face.  This piece had special challenges because trying to reach that smoothness and brightness of skin tone that infants have was a real stretch for my skill level. 

"Katherine all in Pink"- 11x14 Original Oil Painting
Both of these pieces will be available soon on my website and will be hanging at City of the World Gallery at 1229 S. Casino Center Blvd, Las Vegas, NV  89104 for the month of December.  I hope you enjoyed them and will check back as I've already started my next painting adventure.

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