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Watch me paint a dog portrait! (1 Viewer)

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
For our anniversary last month, I painted a large portrait of Beorn, our Bernese Mountain Dog. The Missus loved it.

Beorn_36x36_3618.jpg
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
Thank you. I wish I had a better quality picture of it since I no longer have it. We had a raffle to raise money for a local shelter. I drew a portrait of the winners dog when I worked at a boarding kennel. Her name is Tili. :)
 

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
It's very nice! I'm trying to figure out what you used. I'm stuck between watercolor, oil pastels, and/or art pencils. I see some areas that look like brushstrokes, but others that look like pencil or oil pastels.

I'm probably wrong. Help me out, here!
 

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
Ah! So I was in the ballpark!

By the way, the migration to the new WritingForum seems to have killed my previous video links in this thread. I just now re-established them so they should all work now, if you're interested.

Cheers!
Steve
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Really beautiful piece, Kegan!

You two are making me wonder what I'm doing with my life. Art has fallen by the wayside again. I miss it.

Sigma, you may have mentioned but I'm too lazy to go hunt for this...what software do you use? It's really cool to watch the buildup of the portrait. I've never tried painting digitally. You make it look easy though I bet that's product of many hours of practice.
 

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
Really beautiful piece, Kegan!

You two are making me wonder what I'm doing with my life. Art has fallen by the wayside again. I miss it.

Sigma, you may have mentioned but I'm too lazy to go hunt for this...what software do you use? It's really cool to watch the buildup of the portrait. I've never tried painting digitally. You make it look easy though I bet that's product of many hours of practice.
I use Corel Painter software. It does a good job representing traditional media like oils, though I still miss the feel of canvas, mixing paints, and all the other aspects of oil painting. Of course, I always remind myself it was the smells (turpentine, dryers, varnish, etc.) that drove me to digital painting in the first place.

It's definitely a trade off, though I think because I've made it so integral into my workflow for the last fifteen years that my digital work is far better than my traditional stuff ever was. I'm slowly getting back into traditional oil painting and I hope my traditional skills will catch up to my digital skills.

There is definitely a learning curve to Painter and, frankly, any high-end painting software. To this day I can't figure out how to paint in Photoshop, though it is very popular with many professional illustrators. I just never got the hang of it, though I used it almost daily for years doing photo retouching and such.

The main thing you'll need with any painting software is good pressure-sensitivity whether it's built in to the monitor a la Wacom Cintiq or incorporated into the stylus like an iPad (or iPad competitor).
 

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
Now that things have opened up, I asked my local veterinarian if I could hang some of my pet portraits in their lobby. They agreed, and also requested prints for each examination room (they have 3), so I've been ordering a ton of extra prints to hang in hopes of generating some portrait orders.

It's one thing to see these portraits on the internet on a tiny screen, and quite another to see them on canvas in actual size. They virtually sell themselves when seen in person.

Here's one of my latest. This is Chuy, a commission from last April. I love it when dogs smile!

There are several things I love about this portrait. First is the high contrast in the face. This makes it the center of attention and creates an almost photographic effect (note: there is no photograph here, it's all brushstrokes!). Also, the overall textures create a very painterly effect and the colors convey a bright and cheerful portrait of a very happy pooch.

Chuy_11x14.jpg
 

Sinister

Senior Member
Sir, the level of skills you have is disgustingly advanced. I congratulate you. I've known your work very briefly, but you are precisely the sort of artist I appreciate in every respect. A true talent. Thank you for sharing it.

And on a personal note: You even have a dog named Beorn for extra style points.

-Sin
 

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
Sir, the level of skills you have is disgustingly advanced. I congratulate you. I've known your work very briefly, but you are precisely the sort of artist I appreciate in every respect. A true talent. Thank you for sharing it.

And on a personal note: You even have a dog named Beorn for extra style points.

-Sin
That's very nice of you to say.

Honestly, I've never thought I had much talent, so I've compensated with obsessiveness, practice, and harsh self-criticism, which seem to work as decent alternatives to natural talent.

I once sat outside a shop on a sidewalk bench in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with Beorn while The Missus shopped inside. Everyone wanted to meet this 125 lb. creature, so I stood up and told them, "For those of you familiar with the breed, this is a Bernese Mountain Dog, and he is large but very friendly. For those of you unfamiliar with the breed, for $5 you can pet my bear!"

I got lots of laughs, but no money.
 

Sinister

Senior Member
That's very nice of you to say.

Honestly, I've never thought I had much talent, so I've compensated with obsessiveness, practice, and harsh self-criticism, which seem to work as decent alternatives to natural talent.

I once sat outside a shop on a sidewalk bench in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with Beorn while The Missus shopped inside. Everyone wanted to meet this 125 lb. creature, so I stood up and told them, "For those of you familiar with the breed, this is a Bernese Mountain Dog, and he is large but very friendly. For those of you unfamiliar with the breed, for $5 you can pet my bear!"

I got lots of laughs, but no money.
No one is ever very sure of their talent. Even when you receive compliments, self-doubt or modesty will have you brush them off. And most artists are too close to their own skills to recognize if they have any at all, at least in the beginning. I mean, there are exceptions like Salvador Dali and etc... But, I mean for you to take away from this exchange something that many people might say, but that you might not believe. You measure up pretty damn well, sir. I look forward to seeing and reading more of your work that you might share. ^^

Also, I would've paid out 5$. I love dogs and every Bernese I have ever met has been such a lovable soul. Have a giant Labrador myself named Nero(After Nero Wolfe) and two chihuahuas, Ozymandias and Loki. My day'd be a thousand times more dull without them.

-Sin
 

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
I love dogs and every Bernese I have ever met has been such a lovable soul. Have a giant Labrador myself named Nero(After Nero Wolfe) and two chihuahuas, Ozymandias and Loki. My day'd be a thousand times more dull without them.

-Sin
I agree!

The focus statement on my personal blog begins with "Dispatches from an absurd world made tolerable by the presence of dogs…"
 
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