Pet Portraits for Christmas

I can’t believe it’s November. 2022 is nearly over. It was a pretty good year for me in a lot of ways. BUT, this post isn’t about that. This post is about Christmas gifts, because it’s that time of year AGAIN. ALREADY. WHAT.

I wanted to do something I’ve never done before, and that’s offer $25 mini portraits. These are wallet sized pet portraits, done in watercolors, inktense, and brushpen, and shipped straight to you at no additional charge.

The minis are a lot of fun, and I prefer doing fun things with them.

How does it work?

  • Place an order in my Etsy shop. You pay when you place your order. Let me know what I’m painting, tell me your pet’s name.
  • I’ll reach out for a good photo, preferably multiple good photos of your pet.
  • I sketch, then send you the initial sketch for feedback. These portraits are small, so are most likely going to be a bust or headshot.
  • I add color to your pet! My portraits usually don’t include a background of any kind, but sometimes a wash.
  • I will ship your original portrait to you, or to your intended recipient if you prefer, in a cellophane sleeve and a stiff card for protection.

To get a good portrait, I need a good photograph to work from–preferably multiple good photographs.

What makes a photo GOOD?

  • Clear, well lit, photos are best.
  • If you want a flattering portrait, send me a flattering photo.
  • If you want a goofy portrait, send me a goofy photo.
  • Multiple photos help me get a feel for the shape and true color of your pet. Maybe you have a great photo of your dog in action, and that’s the one I use for the primary reference–but I have to use one of the other photos to find out what your dog’s eye color actually is.
  • Multiple photos let me choose the one best suited for modeling, but also allow me to supplement for an even better composition.
  • If you keep a social media account for your pet, feel free to send me that.

What kinds of animals do I paint?

Cautiously, any kind! But, most often I paint birds, horses, dogs, and cats.

I make each portrait with a mix of media, primarily the water soluble kind. I combine watercolor, gouache, inktense, and sometimes brush pen, to bring each piece to life. I use a setting spray to protect the work once it’s finished.

Anyhow, that’s my Christmas experiment. Pet Portrait Minis! Be sure to check out my Etsy Shop and order yours!

Knight with a Red Plume

https://ravenslanding.redbubble.com

I just really like red plumes.

I painted this when I first got masking fluid. I’m still trying to learn how to use it. And putting riders on horses is startlingly difficult. Perhaps because I think I know what it looks like, but the eye and the brain don’t actually communicate as well as I think.

I am trying to push myself to explore composition more and think creatively.

What? Think creatively? In a painting? I know.

i did really enjoy manipulating the masking fluid and brush flicks for the flagging tail. I think there must be Arabian lines in this horse šŸ˜‰

I’ve always liked Arabians–not just because they are spectacularly gorgeous, but also the legends around them, their endurance, and of course their loyalty. Marguerite Henry’s King of the Wind was also, definitely, instrumental.

Actually, I learned a lot from that book. I read it repeatedly, and the details of how Agaba treated Sham, the care he took to groom and saddle for the comfort of the horse, has definitely influenced how I treat horses. I try to always be kind and respectful when handling a horse. When you do that, they take it much better when you correct them for not being kind and respectful.

This is actually a character from my novel. If you read The River Rebellion on zarecaspian.com you’d know him, Trinh Kegan. His armor should be golden, but artistic liberty dictated bloodstone for this piece.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you like, subscribe so you won’t miss any art, incredibly profound musings, or other treasures from the Raven’s Landing!

Connect in every other digital way:

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Adventurers

If you don’t know what you’re looking at, this is probably a weird picture. I was commissioned to paint an adventuring party portrait for a friend–it is VERY difficult to fit 7 people in a single portrait! There is a fighter/barbarian, a wizard, a sorcerer, a druid, a ranger, a paladin and a bard. So, basically everything šŸ˜‰ if you’re familiar with tabletop roleplaying games.

I made this with inktense, brushpens, watercolors, and masking fluid. Oh, paint pen and metallic pens by kuretake, also. Layer upon layer upon layer. It easily took me 8 hours.

I don’t know why wordpress isn’t letting me rotate these pictures, so, sorry you’ll have to crane your head. But you can get a feel for the layers of detail easily enough.

Also raspberry pie.

This was done in August, but it was a Christmas gift so I couldn’t say anything about it till now šŸ˜›

Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you like, subscribe so you won’t miss any art, incredibly profound musings, or other treasures from the Raven’s Landing!

Connect in every other digital way:

adventure arabian horse art art for sale birds books character art commission competition dancer DC universe dog portrait dogs Equine Artist flowers food for sale garden gardening geekiness green thumb hand lettering homey things horse horse training IliadHouse ink jumping liberty training love Midas movies paint pet portraits Photography Plants practice Real Estate recipes Smaug style support an indie artist watercolor wildlife writing

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Faith is a Blue Bird

https://ravenslanding.redbubble.com

Remember that line from The Rescuers? “Faith is like a bluebird, you can’t catch it or buy it or wrap it up tight, but it’s there just the same making things turn out right.”

The Rescuers wasn’t my favorite movie mostly because I found Madam Medusa *very* scary, in a way that McLeach just wasn’t. Yet Rufus the Cat and his little bit of encouragement, as well as about a zillion other lines from the movie, are burned indelibly into my memory.

When people in my generation start losing their memories, they will probably still be able to quote movies.

I always preferred The Rescuers Down Under–I think I may have even seen it first–who knows, I was so little. I mean, Wilbur is fantastic, then of course there is the lovable Australian cast of creatures.

….oh yeah, and I painted a blue bird that I can’t look at without thinking of the Rescuers and subsequently Australia (which is so frighteningly on fire)…

The background is inktense, the bird itself is Daniel Smith watercolors, and the black tips on its wings are gouache. The eye, ever bright, is ink.

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galleries

At the end of August I collected the last of my pieces from the Firehouse Gallery and moved them all to–plus a lot more original pieces–to the Leesburg Town Hall. I was in such a rush I didn’t really get pictures of everything once they were on the walls–but they DO look good I think.

All the pieces are for sale, of course. I actually last minute switched out one of the works (my Blue Ridge Mountains) just so I could say that. The Blue Ridge stays with me!

I think one of the hardest things for me to do, as a artist, is put the brush down and let a piece be finished. I did that with the Blue Ridge, and it is just so pretty.

pure ultramarine

Here is the one picture I have of the arrangement in the town hall lobby:

It was also cool, then night we held an opening during First Friday Leesburg, to see so many of my products on display. Most of them owned by my very supportive mother–but some of them are mine.

I have these gorgeous painted boots you can see in the back there–not for riding anymore, if ever–perfect for a Kentucky Derby Party, or maybe a Steeple chase tailgate. I have a couple more pairs needing painting, I should probably paint them all up and then list them all at once instead of dripping them out into the world.

Also, you should know: Product pictures are a thing. There are moments when I think, “OH! I can totally do that.” and others, usually when I am holding a camera, when I realize that it is MUCH harder than it looks. Hats off to all you product picture people. Good work!

The exhibit runs to the end of Nov, you should swing by the Leesburg Town Hall if you happen through Northern VA. The downtown is incredibly cute, lots of great food and fun shops, plus, you know, this really awesome art exhibit by this artist you follow on the internet.

I’ve already started thinking about Christmas and I’ll be planning out time to paint. If you’re interested in a commission piece, they are shockingly affordable and make amazing presents. If you aren’t sure about something, just ask me.

You can hit me up here, or go straight to my Etsy shop and place an order there.

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