I don’t do much fine art painting these days.
It may have something to do with the little hands that could make a quick mess of wet paints or the fact that I can never devote more than a couple hours at a time to it. I prefer to paint in long stretches when I can lose myself in the process, but an active family life leaves few opportunities for that kind of leisure.
Two years ago I painted this pet portrait for a former colleague of mine.
She recently contacted me to paint her son’s dog to give him as a birthday gift. I thought you may like to see how a painting comes to life in my studio. I always start with a rough sketch and I always sketch in blue. Blue’s my fave.
This painting was done in acrylic. My favorite medium is oil paint, but it takes forever to dry, so acrylic is a better choice for pieces with deadlines. I custom mix almost all my colors in those little plastic dishes. Instrumental music is my painting companion of choice.
Everyone else was in bed, but Songbird couldn’t sleep. She snuck in and wanted to watch me work. I hope when she is grown she has wonderful memories of drifting off to sleep at my feet, classical music in the background.
I always save the eyes for last. They are the single most important element, instantly bringing the whole piece to life.