Continuing the tradition of creating new works to donate to the annual Works/San José benefit auction (see 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014) – here’s one that echoes some of the artful cropping of the Statement paintings but with a new subject matter. The translucency of the tail and the shine on the scales caught my eye most, and I decided to make those the focus of this painting. Check out the auction details here – silent auction completes on Saturday December 8th!
I started this one off at a Two Buck Tuesday at Kaleid Gallery, and painted a portion of it during Street MRKT (an outdoor evening event) which lead to some interesting color choices due to the yellow street lights. The background on my reference photo was very busy so I tried out a bokeh-style blurring. This may be my go-to technique now: small dots to soften edges, big dots to obscure details.
Just finished this commission for a painting of Tobey, the furry friend of Alan’s co-worker Melinda. Last month, Alan was transporting an earlier painting, The Big Yawn, to its new owner at his work. Melinda spotted it and asked about a commission for her nursery.
We started by reviewing a few dozen photos, and she narrowed it down to six for me to look through in more detail. I picked three and did quick Photoshop mockups on different canvas shapes. One in particular had great lighting and detail, so I adjusted the angle and gave it a close crop to better match the intense staring-at-something-behind-you look cats often have.
The color layering (including the awful blue stage every painting goes through) worked to particularly good effect in the eyes. The fuzzy blurring of the white areas also helped soften the rest to make the details stand out more. Usually on these, especially on the paintings of people, I’ll just paint the edges black if I’m planning on adding a frame. I opted to paint around the edges on this one – so every layer I painted that you see here I also painted on each of the four edges (where applicable). It’s good practice in working out what looks right from different sides to ensure that changes in viewing angles won’t make the perspective look odd.
Enjoy your painting, Melinda!
Here’s the full set of vinyl toys & musician portraits I made for the Hues/Muse artist takeover at Chromatic Coffee last month. A few sold, so for the ones that didn’t I’m looking into either potential retail spots in SJ or online (possibly Etsy?) to hang a shingle & sell the rest. If you see any you’re interested in or if you’d like something in a similar style, let me know!
Alan took a photo of our cat I/O a few years ago with this amazing yawn. I’ve wanted to paint this for a while, but couldn’t decide on the right ratio. Square? Rectangular? It looked odd to crop it any more closely. I got an extra 20″ x 16″ canvas from my friend Jenny and opted to use it here.
It had great details: the colors, the ridges of the roof of the mouth, the curl of the tongue, and especially the little barbs. It also had an interesting blueish color cast from the lighting. Though I usually use ultramarine blue for the cooler tones, I switched to cerulean blue deep since that was closer to those colors. I like how the colors look together, so I might stick with this in the future.
I/O is unfortunately missing one of her top fangs now, after it got knocked out after a fight. Otherwise, she is just as (unintentionally) fierce, and is observing this as I write it.