All posts by larrygekiereartist

Shiloh Winner

This is the prize-winning photo submitted by Jill C., CEO of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, for our “More than a Pet, More than a Friend…Family” photo contest. The photo shows Shiloh entertaining some of the children at the House, something he does every day!

Once again, I want to walk you through my step-by-step process of creating a custom oil painting of Shiloh, a four-year-old Golden Retriever. I hope the painting will be as beautiful as the subject, who is not only a handsome fellow on the outside, but a wonderful fur playmate for the children of the Ronald McDonald House.

 
 

Photograph

As I have said before, the photograph is key. I went over to the Ronald McDonald House to meet and photograph Shiloh, and I found out a lot about Shiloh in the process! Shiloh is a service dog, trained to serve as a guide dog for the blind. But his current job is “Chief Cheer Officer” at Ronald McDonald House in Dallas. And he does just that, spreading joy and cheer to the children and their families staying at the house.

Painting Shiloh

Painting Shiloh 2

 

Initial Drawing

A charcoal drawing is an important aspect of the painting. I must get the drawing right, for the painting, literally based on it, to really capture the personality of the subject. And Shiloh has an amazing personality. When I met him, he walked right over to where I was sitting and laid his head firmly on my arm. Jill told me that was his way of giving a hug! I see why he is “Chief Cheer Officer”.

 
 

Full Color Palette

As you can see in this photo of the painting in progress, I have put in the full palette of color. If my charcoal sketch was sound and I have structured the painting properly, it comes together nicely in this step and I think it has here. There’s a lot more to do – adding details like the texture of his coat, details of his face, the official title on his service dog vest, and so on, but I’m about a third of the way through the process.


Painting Shiloh 3

painting Shiloh 4

 
 

Stay Tuned for the Completed Portrait!

I can’t wait to share the final portrait of Shiloh with you. As you can see from this photo, he really enjoys being around children, whether doing his job or relaxing at home. I am sure that his final portrait will showcase his great personality and capture the big heart under that golden fur!


I hope you enjoyed seeing the progression of Shiloh’s painting. I will blog here about the completed portrait and show it off. It will also be available in my Gallery.

If you would like a chance to win a contest like Jill and Shiloh did, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Just click here or click on the graphic below! Once you sign up, you will receive my next newsletter. Also, if you are on Facebook, be sure to LIKE my Facebook page for more announcements about the contests and other fun things!

If you don’t want to wait for the next contest and you have a portrait that you want created just for you, just complete this form. If you have any questions, just contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.

And a big THANK YOU for reading my blog!

newsletter signup
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The “More than a Pet, More than a Friend…Family” contest here at “Larry Gekiere Artist”, in honor of National Pet Week, has concluded and I am happy to announce the winners. Just a reminder, if you subscribe to my newsletter, you will get a chance to participate in future contests!

As I have said before, photographs are a very important aspect of my job in producing a hand-painted oil portrait of your pet, and I really enjoyed reviewing the photos entered in the contest. It was hard to actually select winners!

Here are the winning entries for your enjoyment!

FIRST PLACE


 
 
 
 
 

FIRST PLACE goes to Jill C., CEO of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, for her photo of Shiloh entertaining some of the children at the House. Great photo showing the way dogs can create a family.

contest entry

SECOND PLACE


 
contest entry

 
 
 
 

SECOND PLACE goes to Lezli R. for a lovely family portrait that not only includes her two fur children as beloved members of the family, but also manages to capture them all with their eyes open and on the camera! Great job!

THIRD PLACE


 
 
 
 
 
 

THIRD PLACE goes to Hal M., a volunteer at Legacy Boxer Rescue, for his great black and white “selfie” of his foster boxer Frodo and Frodo’s dad, Hal. Beautiful composition and I would love a chance to do a black and white painting!

contest entry

FIRST RUNNER UP


 
contest entry

 
 
 
 

FIRST RUNNER UP goes to Lori M. for her comic shot of a family member who is apparently a cheesehead and a Green Bay fan with an adorable smile! Patient cat in a great shot!

Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to everyone who entered the contest and to all my loyal newsletter subscribers! I will likely be sharing some of the paintings that I create for the winners here on the blog over the next few months, so stay tuned.

And be sure to sign up for my newsletter so YOU get a chance to enter my contests when they happen! Just click here to sign up. Or sign up right on my Facebook page under Newsletter Signup or click on the graphic below!

newsletter signup


As you know, in honor of National Pet Week, “Larry Gekiere Artist” held a contest just for my newsletter subscribers. The theme of the contest was in keeping with the theme for next year’s National Pet Week – “More than a Pet, More than a Friend…Family”.

Here are all the GREAT entries for your enjoyment. I’ll be announcing the winner shortly (after the Fourth of July holidays) right here on my blog and on my Facebook page.

Photographs are a very important part of my job, in producing a hand-painted oil portrait of your pet, and I LOVE photos like these.

 
 
 
 
 
 
A family portrait from Lezli R.==============>
 
 
 
 
 
 
contest entry
contest entry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
< ==============Another one from Lezli R.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A group shot from Jill C.==============>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
contest entry
contest entry
 
 
 
 
 
< ==============Another one from Lezli R.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A greeting from Lezli R.==============>.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
contest entry
contest entry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
< ==============A black and white image from Hal M.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A candid shot from Lori M.==============>.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
contest entry
contest entry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
< ==============A candid shot from Jill C.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A collage from Lezli R.==============>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
contest entry
contest entry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
< ==============Another one from Jill C.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A family portrait from Jill C.==============>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
contest entry
contest entry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
< ==============A Christmas shot from Gloria R.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A balancing act from Gloria R.==============>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
contest entry
contest entry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
< ==============A "Find the Cat" one from Gloria R.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It’s going to be tough to choose!! But I will. Stay tuned!

The prizes for the contest are:

FIRST PRIZE – A 6″ x 6″ Larry Gekiere – Artist custom oil painting or a $600 credit on a larger Larry Gekiere – Artist custom oil painting

SECOND PRIZE – A $300 credit on a Larry Gekiere – Artist custom oil painting

THIRD PRIZE – A $200 credit on a Larry Gekiere – Artist custom oil painting

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter so YOU get a chance to enter my contests when they happen! Just click here to sign up. Or sign up right on my Facebook page under Newsletter Signup or click on the graphic below!

newsletter signup


It’s SPRING and I’m having a CONTEST!!

In honor of National Pet Week, “Larry Gekiere Artist” is holding a contest just for my newsletter subscribers. The theme of the contest is in keeping with the theme for next year’s National Pet Week – “More than a Pet, More than a Friend…Family”.

The contest runs through June 30th and the prizes are great! The exact rules and the list of prizes are detailed in my latest newsletter. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, click here or by clicking on the graphic for the contest below! Once you sign up, you will receive my latest newsletter detailing the contest.

The winners will be announced in July on my blog and here on Facebook.

Remember, if you want to enter the contest and you aren’t a newsletter subscriber, head over here to sign up. Or sign up right on my Facebook page under Newsletter Signup. You’ll receive the latest newsletter as soon as we receive your subscription.

Newsletter subscribers entering the contest will be posting their entries in the contest in comments on my Facebook page, so check out the entries here and enjoy!

newsletter signup


Did you know that the first full week of May, May 6 through May 14th this year, is National Pet Week? Of course, we here at Larry Gekiere – Artist think a great way to celebrate National Pet Week is to commemorate your bond with your pet by getting a custom oil painting of your pet or pets.
 

National Pet Week

 
National Pet Week is sponsored by the Auxiliary to the American Veterinary Medical Association “to foster responsible pet ownership, recognize the human-animal bond, and increase public awareness of veterinary medicine”.

Every year National Pet week has a theme. This year’s is “Barks, Purrs, Tweets, Neighs … Pets Speak Love Many Ways”. And they have contests for students (kindergarten through 12th grade) to submit written and artistic entries about the theme.

The winning creative writing entry for National Pet Week 2018:

Barks, Purrs, Tweets, Neighs
Pets speak love many ways.
Chirps, squeaks, bellows, trills
Pets give you so many thrills!
Croaks, coos, quacks, clicks
Pets will reward you with a shower of licks!

– by Spencer Williams of Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The winning artistic entry for National Pet Week 2018:

National Pet Week

– by Gracie Babin of Hammond, Louisiana

 

The AVMA are holding contests for next year’s event as well. The theme for next year is “More than a Pet, More than a Friend…Family”. Submission guidelines are available on their website at https://petweek.org/.

Larry Gekiere – Artist is considering a similar contest for our newsletter subscribers. Be sure to sign up here for a chance to participate!

And if you want an artistic rendering of your beloved pet – a custom oil painting by Larry Gekiere – just complete this form or contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.

Happy National Pet Week!!


This year for the first time, Larry Gekiere – Artist is participating in a great fundraising event put on by one of the biggest dog rescue organizations in the DFW area by offering a special donation.

Legacy Boxer Rescue (LBR) was founded in 2004 with the belief that all Boxers should have a legacy befitting of their wonderful enthusiasm and love of life, but sadly, this isn’t always the case. So they created a mission to seek out Boxers who are in need of a loving family and home of their own. LBR firmly believes that a Boxer’s future should never be uncertain. They fully intend to create better, happier legacies for them, one Boxer at a time – a legacy that replaces despair with hope, sorrow with happiness, fear with security, and pain with love.

Legacy Boxer Rescue is a federally recognized non-profit and all donations are 100% tax deductible. They are not only operated 100% by volunteers – volunteers with jobs, families and their own boxers, but they are also funded 100% from the generosity of others. They have rescued and placed in furever homes over 2500 Boxers over the lifetime of the organization.

charitable donation

 

Legacy’s Roses For Rescue gives you the opportunity to get some great deals on flowering plants and other products while helping LBR save Boxers! And, for the first time, this year, my studio will donate 25% of the price of any custom oil paintings contracted through the month of April to LBR in honor of Roses For Rescue. Just mention Legacy Boxer Rescue when you contact us during April and we will make sure LBR receives 25% of the price you pay.

So, if you’re seeing this and you have been thinking about getting a custom oil portrait done of your favorite pet or person or place, consider signing up for it in April to benefit Legacy Boxer Rescue too! Just complete this form and mention LBR. If you have further questions, just contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.


As I’ve said before, photographs are a very important part, of producing a hand-painted oil portrait of your pet. However, these kinds of “confession” photos, while hysterically funny, might not be ideal for a painting! (But they are funny!)

(Click on the photos to get a full-sized view!)

pet photographs

pet photographs
pet photographs

pet photographs
pet photographs

pet photographs
pet photographs

pet photographs
pet photographs

pet photographs

If you need a laugh or a chance to appreciate how well-behaved your pet is, just Google “pet shaming” or “cat shaming” or “dog shaming” (or whatever species of pet you have), and enjoy. They just keep coming!

And if you have a little or a big mischief maker at home, but you want a slightly different kind of picture, get in touch with me and let me create a custom oil painting of your prankster!

To order a painting, just complete this form. If you have further questions, just contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.


Now and again I send out an email about what’s going on at “Larry Gekiere Artist”. With the latest email, I have changed the format a bit. My email is now the official newsletter of Larry Gekiere Artist.

Every quarter I’ll be sharing my favorite blog posts from the past months, but for those of you who stay updated here on the website, there will now and again be something special just for my loyal newsletter subscribers – a contest with prizes or a special offer.

Just a hint, next quarter’s newsletter will include a really fun contest, so if you aren’t signed up, do so now by clicking here or by clicking on the graphic of the newsletter header below.

Once you receive your newsletter, feel free to forward your copy to friends or family who might be interested.

As always, thanks for being here!

newsletter signup


 
 
 
 
While photographs are a very important part of my job, in producing a hand-painted oil portrait of your pet, these kinds of photos MIGHT not be perfect for a painting.
 
 
 
 
Winner of the “Gone to the Dogs” category =======>
 
 
 
 
This was the first year of the Comedy Pet Photography Awards , a companion to the hysterical Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards .

(Click on the photos to get a full-sized view!)

pet photographs
pet photographs
 
 
 
 
Just as the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are devoted to conservation, the Comedy Pet Photography Awards are devoted to animal welfare and have entry rules about the way the photographs are taken and the breeds allowed (based on the British Kennel Club’s KC3 list).
 
 
 
 
< =======Winner of the “Pets who look like their owners” category
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Winner of the “Larry Gekiere’s Favorite” category=======>
 
 
 
 
My own category, of course. I call this photo “Romeo and Juliet”. Beautiful composition.
 
 
 
 
pet photographs
pet photographs
 
 
 
 
< =======Overall Winner
 
 
 
 
The pictures are amazing and funny, just the right uplift for the new year!
 
 
 
 

Here’s hoping that, in 2018, your pets are as happy and healthy as the ones in the competition.


 
 

The Challenge

Every year, I enjoy painting more and more. The reason? There are always new challenges and overcoming them can feel like a real accomplishment.

An example is this painting of Dolly and Bella.

Just like about 50% of my work last year, the portrait of these two lovely dogs was to be given as a gift. Gifts can be challenges no matter what, first in getting the best photo without the recipient finding out and then in the timing.

This particular portrait was a gift for my client’s adult daughter. With some planning, I was able to organize a rendezvous to take the photos, and that’s when the fun began.

Originally, I thought the painting was only of one dog, but as it turns out, I was asked to paint two dogs. This is not unusual or challenging of itself, as you know from some of my other paintings, but this particular situation was a bit unique.

challenging pet painting

challenging pet painting

 
 
 
 
 

Getting the Pictures

One of the dogs, Bella, was a rescue, and, as it turned out, was afraid of some men. It is difficult to get a good photo of a frightened dog. The other dog, Dolly, who wasn’t feeling well that day, oddly enough was the one who would not stop moving! I did get a shot of both, but it included the client and was too far away. I also tried putting their favorite toys on a blanket to grab a photo of them together, but that didn’t work.

After crawling around on the ground and sneaking about (check out my blog post on how to get good photos of your pet), I managed to get over 100 photos and, finally, two separate pictures of the dogs that might work. Then I had to get them to the correct size and then meld them together in the position the client wanted.

 
 
 
 
 

The Most Important Thing

My client had a couple of poses that she thought would typify her daughter’s pets. In addition, she had specific marking on the dogs that she wanted to be shown in the painting. After some drawings and sketches (see one of my posts on the process), she agreed to the planned portrait.

I painted the portrait and delivered it to the client, but I could immediately tell that she was not as excited as my clients normally are when they see the portraits. I asked what was wrong. After some persuading, she admitted that she thought that one of the dogs would be sitting. When I mentioned the drawing that she had approved, she said she was so focused on the positioning of their heads, that she didn’t pay attention to the body positions. We both laughed and I said that I would redo. The most important challenge? Making sure portraits like this are something you love not just something you think is ok.

challenging pet painting

challenging pet painting

I redid the painting with the positional change and delivered it once more. This time my client was happy, but I told her that if her daughter was not thrilled with the gift, I would redo the portrait until she was.

After Christmas, I received my own gift – something I can only hope for in all of my work – an email from my client that said this:

“My daughter cried and was thrilled with her painting of her two beloved friends.”

My deepest gratitude to all of the clients who have trusted me with their treasured memories. I look forward to this next year of “challenges”.