Saturday, September 27, 2008

Reluctantly revealing my first WIP

My artist friend MJ is posting a WIP or work in progress in her blog Mary Jill Lemieur Designs. Check it out, isn't she fantastic?

Portraits are something I have always dabbled in, thanks to my mother who was also intrigued by faces, being a photo-colorist back in the day before color photography was available or affordable for family photos. High school graduation 8x10's were the staple of mom's work-at-home business. I remember as a small child seeing package after package arriving in the mail for my mother to paint and box up and return to the big studios in Detroit. Mom was a professional and she was in big demand in the 50's and 60's.

She didn't get much money for this work, about $1 or $1.50 per 8 x 10, but if you asked her why she didn't raise her rates, she would reply 'I really can't because many of the studios are switching over to natural color as the cost of it comes down and I have to keep my prices low to stay in business.'

Today photo-coloring is an fine art form that not too many people have the know-how or equipment to undertake. Mother had special artist photo-grade oil paints she ordered through the mail, a compressor driven air-brush for the background effects, assorted brushes for those desiring a 'heavy oil' portrait and lots of pure fluffy white cotton to pull and twist onto pointed sticks which she used to apply the paint and rub down to the correct transparency. And turpentine, lots of turpentine.

I would watch in awe as she worked quickly before the paint started to dry. She seemed to pull and twist that cotton onto a stick, add some detail, and flick off the used cotton and twist on a fresh wad in the blink of an eye.

Ok, so here are Cathy and Bill. Extraordinary people I have met though common interests right here on the wonderful world wide web. I chose photos where they happen to both be wearing hats and I am painting them on 6 inch textured ceramic tiles which were a salvaged supplies item that I have found to work out quite nicely in the past.

Here first are the rough pencil sketches on the prepaired tiles (a coat of white Kilz) and then my first applications of paint. I can already see that Cathy is too pink and Bill is jut too dirty looking but I will hopefully remedy this as I move along.
Comments, laughter and snide remarks are encouraged. More photos to follow.

OK, this is harder than I thought, posting pix of an unfinished portrait. Whenever I look at my own work, all I see are the flaws. My first mistake in my initial sketch was not following the slight tilt if Bill's head. It threw everything off. But it is a little late now. His forehead should be taller, I've made his chin too big, his nose a tad too short. I need to put this painting aside for a bit and concentrate on how I can mess up Cathy's...ha!

NOVEMBER 25 UPDATE: Where does the time go? I am starting to stray from the photo a bit so I am not sure if this is looking like Cathy or not since I only know her face from pictures. Also, I need to ask her what color are her eyes. I have made them blue for now.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Smiling Black Cat original works of art @ 99 cents!

Just in time for halloween fun, smiling black cats on ebay, many currently at just 99 cents. Last time I checked, this Trick or Trout piece found HERE was still at a very low bid. Check all the current ebay NIBBLEFEST entries and grab some original art at a bargain price this week.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

the skeleton in my closet... hanging on grungy wallpaper, but surrounded by bottle caps. The brightest colored caps are from The Netherlands thanks to my friend Trudy of Black Crow Jewelry.
Just finished and available in my etsy shop.

CLICK HERE for more photos and details.

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