OUR BIBLE STUDY CLASS ASKED ME TO PAINT A PAINTING OF MOSES FOR DISPLAY IN OUR CLASSROOM. I AGREED BUT REALIZED THAT THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS TO DECIDE WHAT A GOOD PICTURE OF MOSES WOULD LOOK LIKE. YOU WOULD THINK HE WOULD HAVE A WILD LOOK COMING DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN. I THINK THAT IT IS CAPTURED IN THIS OIL PAINTING BY LARRY GEKIERE
I AM FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN ASKED BY A DAD TO PAINT IN OIL ON CANVAS HIS DAUGHTER. SHE IS A HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR. I BELIEVE THAT SHE WOULD BE A GREAT SUBJECT BUT I WAS A LITTLE CONCERNED THAT LINDSAY WOULD LIKE HER OWN PAINTING. WHEN I PAINT A PET I JUST HAVE TO SATISFY THE OWNER BECAUSE PETS DON’T HAVE OPINION ABOUT HOW THEY LOOK. I WENT TO HER HOUSE AT A PREARRANGED TIME AND TOOK PICTURES THAT I FELT SHE WOULD LIKE. AFTER TAKING THE PICTURES I SENT HER 3 THAT I THOUGHT WOULD BE GOOD AND LINDSAY PICKED THE ONE SHE LIKE. I THEN SENT HER A DRAWING OF WHAT I ENVISIONED. SHE GAVE ME THE GO AHEAD AND THE RESULTS ARE SHOWN IN THE PORTRAIT SECTION OF THE GALLERY.
THIS WAS A FUN PAINTING OF A SIX YEAR OLD SPRINGER SPANIEL BY LARRY GEKIERE
Russell was given a certificate for his birthday to have his side kick, PJ, painted. Although Russell has three dogs only one gets to ride shotgun. It took us some time to select the pose we wanted for PJ. Russell wanted to have his friend in his usual place, where he sees him on the way to work on the front seat. That is a first for me but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. You will be able to watch as we build the pet portrait together.
SELECTING THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPH: RIDING SHOTGUN
When Russell and I tried to select the picture, it became obvious that the right choice for the Pet Portrait was with PJ in his usual place in the front seat of the car going to work with Russell.
FIRST STEP: THE DRAWING
The first step in the pet portrait after selecting the photo is to do a drawing of the soon to be painting.
STEP TWO: WASH
This is the first run-through of the custom painting on the shaggy dog. It is a ‘wash’to define the dark and the light of the final custom painting.
STEP THREE: NO DETAIL
We’re now putting in color into the custom painting. I’m not trying for detail, but rather for perspective
STEP FOUR CLOSEUP WITH DETAIL
NEXT IS THE FINSHED PAINTING
I have just started to paint Bailey. She is a very well mannered 6 years old Spaniel. I am sure it will be a beautiful painting based on the subject. I will post pictures from start to finish so that you can get a sense of the process and the result.
As you can see I have drawn Bailey and part of the chair. This charcoal design will be the basis of the final painting. I felt that she looked very regal sitting on the chair, befitting her breed.
I have painted what I call a wash. This is a process of putting a very thin coat of oil paint on the canvas. As a painter, the wash shows me the lights and the darks for contrast. I have decided with this compostion that I will paint a canvas that is 20 x 20. The square will be good for Bailey
I have started to put in a full palette of color. If I have structured the painting properly it should come together nicely. The key is having it set up correctly as it is very hard to correct drawing errors at this stage.
I thought you would gain from seeing a closeup of the face. The next picture will be one with the detail that is now lacking.
THIS IS ALMOST THE COMPLETED PAINTING.
I HAVE A FEW MORE DETAILS TO ADD AND SHE IS COMPLETED. I HOPE YOU ENJOYED WATCHING THE PROGRESSION OF THE PAINTING . YOU WILL NEXT FIND THE COMPLETED PAINTING IN THE GALLERY SECTION UNDER DOGS.
I am traveling to East Africa in August. It is my intention to photograph game in the wild. We will be hiking in to find mountain gorillas. We will also be seeing the great migration and elephants and much more. Upon our return, I will plan to paint a series of the animals that I see. I am looking forward to this and feel that many of you will be interested in having an original oil of the animals of Africa.
If you have a specific animal that you would like to have, shoot me an email and I will do my best to get a great shot of the animal for you.
Watch my site after August to see this series develop.
BABY ELEPHANT IN THE BUSH
BABY ELEPHANT PAINTING
I thought you would enjoy seeing the process that I use to capture your puppy the way you want her.
This owner wanted the puppy picture with the dog looking forward and yet the tail up. Try as she might she was unable to get the exact pose she wanted so we are working creating a pose that is what she wanted. As you can see we have two pictures that we are working from and the first step is for me to create a drawing that will show what is wanted. This is the first pass at it and I will keep adding to this article as my work progresses.
Now that we have a design that will fit what is wanted, we do what is called a wash. This is where we start to introduce oil to the canvas but without regard to trying to organize by color. It is more a way to strart visualizing the dark and light areas in the pictire.
As you can see from the next picture we hae started to add more color. The puppy is starting to take shape. In looking at the photo. I feel that the fence and the stones will not show off the puppy in the best light. So I proposed changing the background to a field and sky. We aggreeded and so the next pass through will be with a different background. In doing this it will also lighten the dog with more contrast.
If you are trying to get pet photos that are going to be great for a portrait there are some basic concepts to keep in mind.
Many choose to have professional photography done. That is always a possibility, but with a little patience and preparation you can get a great amount of joy doing this yourself. Remember you know your pet better than anyone.
Have fun and don’t rush. Take plenty of pictures.
- Outside is the best possible light. Keep in mind safety is always an issue, but try to take your pet into nature. If it is not possible to go outside, place your pet near a large window with plenty of natural light coming from behind or slightly to the side of you as you face the pet.
- Avoid direct sunlight, as it can alter natural coloring and increase contrast between shadow and light, hiding some features. A bright but overcast day is the best situation.
- Don’t use a flash, it can distort the true coloring. An exception to this is a pet with a black coat. In this case a flash may bring out shading and texture that may be lost in a photo with natural light.
- Take your pictures at your pet’s level. Don’t have the pet look up unless that is the way you want the portrait to appear. Go to them instead of having them come to you. Have them in their world where they are most comfortable. Sit on the grass or lie on the floor. Whatever it takes. This is especially important for full body shots which look best from the side rather than above.
- Take plenty of facial shots. Have their face fill the frame while still in sharp focus. Try some three-quarter views as well as from the fringe, as a slight angled pose can sometimes make a beautiful portrait .
- If your pet will not sit still, have someone hold them in position. If these pictures are solely for the portrait, then hands and arms can be removed from the portrait as long as they are not covering an important marking.
- Keep your pet comfortable and at ease. Cameras can be distracting. If you cannot get your pet to behave normally, enlist the aid of another to keep them engaged.
- Capture the most characteristic expression and pose of your pet. If they are generally happy, try to catch them doing their version of a smile.
- A good idea is to have a favorite treat or toy on hand. Hold it by the camera, and try to direct their interest in the right direction. Don’t be afraid to act silly.
Please note the quality of my portrait will be dependent on the photographs. If they are blurred or your pet is a small spot in the photo I have less to work with and the final portrait will have some guesswork.
Since I work from photographs I am often asked for tips on the best way to take pictures.
- Not to over complicate shots from nature or lake houses would be important. Know what you want to be the focal point of your picture or painting. The best way to put it is, less is more.
- The best time of day to shoot pictures is in the morning or afternoon when the natural light casts shadows. That will give you a more dramatic picture and painting. Remember shadows are your friend.
WHEN TRAVELING AS I DID THIS YEAR WE ALL TAKE MANY PICTURES. UPON OUR RETURN I LIKED ONE ESPECIALLY. I DECIDED TO PAINT IT IN OIL AND THIS IS THE RESULT. IF YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PICTURE FROM ONE OF YOUR TRIPS LET ME KNOW AND I WOULD LOVE TO PAINT IT FOR YOU. IF YOU LOOK IN MY GALLERY YOU WILL SEE ANOTHER THAT I DID IN ARCHES NATIONAL PARK IN UTAH.