Friday, July 13, 2018


Meet Roy. He is the much-loved dog of a friend of a friend. Rhonda wanted to give Roy's owner  a portrait for his birthday,  as he had helped Rhonda enormously, helping her train and rehabilitate her  rescued Boerboel [South African mastiff - much too large a dog to leave untrained]. So I get riding lessons from Rhonda and she gets a painting - great arrangement!

This is one of the photos I was given as reference - not my favourite. To me, it looks more like a pit bull than a shepherd.

But I gave it a try - still didn't like it.

The photo resolution here is bad, but Roy's face is alive, looking back adoringly at his owner.

So we're off ...

Starting to look like a dog here ...

Now this I like! He has animation, great expression ...  and most importantly,  Roy's owner loves it.
Throughout the painting, I use my favourite animal colours - quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone, as well as some permanent rose. And as much as I can, I paint wet in wet.

Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, July 12, 2018


quick sketch of a wall in the barn

more barn utensils

some quickie outlines for a background idea I did not use

One of my good neighbours loves sketching and art. I was over at her place, the two of us in her garden, absolutely lost in the moment of creating.

more garden sketches

Bruno's hind end - trying to get more accuracy and life to a  painting I'm doing for a friend. His horse is sadly long gone, so all I have are photos, and they really do not give me the information I need, so Bruno is the substitute model.

Lots of horse bums, and a distant tree done when he was moving too much to get a decent sketch. 

curly-leafed willow that lives in the pond

more finished drawing that I was going to use to do some dogwood 

more bums

another willow - I'd love to find a way to get that scintillating appearance of leaves in sunlight - I think it involves spattering

a somewhat gnarly-looking birch study for the painting class

I try to get an hour's sketching a day. I generally find it more relaxing than painting. Working with Bruno is interesting - I let him loose on the back lawn, and sit down on the grass nearby [hoping he doesn't seriously spook and forget I am there and run over me!] Maggie usually comes over to sit with me, keeping a sharp eye on Bruno - she has a healthy respect for his size.

Finally ... finally ... I think my attitude toward painting is taking a good turn. I have tried for years to paint what people want, and have become thoroughly disillusioned with the commercial end of art.  I am happiest and create my best work when I paint what I want. So I will be doing commissions for friends, doing other works experimenting with techniques, colour, format, etc.  And I will continue teaching and drawing.

Thank you for visiting!