Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Lesson Learned- a warning to other artists.

Well, I got a HUGE lesson in what one should and should not to do when looking for human subjects to paint recently. Most definitely get a written agreement up front, and do not for any reason trust a stranger with your photos, even if you feel sorry for them. I thought I was very fortunate to be able-with verbal permission-to photograph a woman and her 2 daughters in a lovely setting that would have made a beautiful painting. I did not have any written permission slips for the use of my photos to paint from as reference. She asked for my information, and called me that night "interested" in a painting. Her youngest had fallen into the pond right after I had taken the photos (they were actually there to be photographed by someone else it turned out which I hadn't known and so got no photos themselves). I felt sorry for her and sent her some of my photos, believing since she had indicated that I could use them as reference that I would be allowed to paint a lovely picture from them- whether or not she wanted the painting herself. I would have gladly sent her every photograph I had taken, along with several another friend had also taken for that permission. Once she had the photographs she tried to manipulate me into painting something for her at a cut rate if I wanted the use of the images. When I told her that was not possible but that I would be happy to do it on a payment plan, I didn't hear back from her. So after a reasonable amount of time waiting for a response I again contacted her asking for permission. I did tell her that if I did not have that permission I would delete the photos from my files, but that she also did not have my permission to use my copyrighted photos. I got an immediate and VERY NASTY response. Threats of police and lawsuits if I were to use those photos for a painting, and that she had already contacted attourneys. Needless to say, I have already deleted the photos, (can you imagine trying to paint from them at this point?!) I am very fortunate not to have any further dealings with this person- I can't imagine trying to do a painting and working with someone like that. But I thought I would remind any artists out there to be sure to get written permission- and do it immediately. I don't like to be manipulated and I doubt you do either. I will continue to look for opportunities to paint people, but it certainly reminded me of why I love to paint animals!

Out in the BIG World!!!

We went out in the big, scarey world for the first time. It was HUGE! Where's mom? Where's my box?
The puppies have started to try to play- they lift a front paw, totter a bit, then tip over. It's funny to watch. They also have started to look at the top of the box- it will soon be time to find a higher one!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Art Award- First Place!

My gosh, where has the time gone. With starting out in a new job I've just totally lost track of time! I MUST get photos of the puppies again- they are becoming real puppies now! Totter around on wobbly legs, but still sleeping and eating and sleeping, mostly. :-)

I did have a nice surprise this past week- I won a first place award! I attended the reception and got to see some friends I haven't seen in quite awhile and also talk briefly with the judge with whom I had taken a few plein aire classes several years ago-(not at all my forte' unfortunately). Managed to get one shot, altho the light behind us made for poor quality, but not a really big deal- after all it's just me, not artwork!!!

I have the egret nearly completed and just begging me to come and finish... sigh... not enough time in the day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Jeepers, Creepers- We Got PEEPERS!!!

WE GOT EYES!!! They're kind of blue yet- don't think we see much other than shape/light maybe, but they are starting to look like puppies! And we haven't gotten to "cute" yet remember! :-)
The top photo is to remind you of where they started and you can see they've grown!

As you can see they've grown alot, their noses are darkening, and they are very, very well fed! Can you see the nose stop on the side photo? They have nice apple heads (chihuahua feature) and the nice "stop" where the nose meets the head. They will keep getting cuter and cuter now and next week the playful puppy thing will start to show a bit. Right now it's still eat/sleep/eat.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Egret WIP

Well, here's the first "installment". He's beginning to look the way I want him. Still a ways to go though... Hoping I can capture the trailing feathers reflection in the water. When I took the reference shots I failed to notice some sort of plant in the foreground which blocked his reflection nearly completely so I'm going on "instinct" with that part. I just have to quit focusing on those animals and see the rest of the world! Heeheehee... I just love animals, that's my problem. :-)
This fellow was in full breeding plumage and just beautiful. I am changing the lighting as at the time I saw him it was mid-day, and I want to put in the sunset colors and am changing the color of the water just a bit as well. As you can see, it's not exactly the colors of the original sketch- I knew it wouldn't be at the time I did the sketch, but the sketch helped me with the general direction I wanted to go. I refine as I begin painting. I may get better with the colored pencils over time, but I really didn't want to spend that much time on that- just get a feel for what I thought I wanted to do.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New WIP- Egret

I decided to try something new. I want to paint an egret, a fairly simple background, but wanted to work out the colors at least a bit before starting so I decided to try doing a quick sketch in colored pencil. It was kind of fun- I think I'll do that again, at least some of the time rather than just the graphite sketches. Here's the beginnings of the newest piece.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Need for Reference

I've added just a teeny tiny portion of a few of my references to give you a taste of what I go out and photograph to use in my paintings. The egret, the bird, and the little girl in the green hat are all from a shoot I did last week with an artist friend. I take 1,000's of photos. As an example I filled 2 of my camera cards (don't know what they are called) and a portion of 2 more last Thurs. in just a local visit to a park/zoo here! Ofcourse they are not all wonderful, but they are useful in learning anatomy, having a place to "put that elk" in the future, or a "bird on that old machinery". I take advantage of every opportunity I can for getting reference. I do not plein aire paint generally. I am a studio painter who does highly detailed work and I need the help of the photos to get that detail. It doesn't mean I don't change things- I add things into the reference, I change the lighting, colors, etc. I love dramatic lighting, but don't always have the opportunity to be somewhere exactly at sunset/sunrise, so as a painter I can make that happen. I love all sorts of subjects and am at present trying to expand my reference of children. I have barely scratched the surface for them!