The work of Dinosaur-a-day!

Check out Dinosaur-a-day. I am so in love with this little site. I get a kick out of each dinosaur post. They are all so different and fun, I didn’t know which image to share on my repost. The site is a little enigmatic to me, there’s nothing about the artist and I have no idea who is putting these up, where they live, their story, nothin. It’s fun. But I think the person doing these is named Garrick and I imagine him living in England. Thanks for all these great dinosaur pictures, they make me happy. But Dino-a-day, you don’t need to explain anything to me if you don’t want to. I like the mystery.

Dinosaur-a-Day (or whenever I remember...)

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New Painting

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Hi friends!  I am so happy to say that I completely finished the Maine beach scene and my client (I don’t like that word, but what else works?) came by my studio and loved it and said that each kid looks like themselves.  She is picking it up on Tuesday to take it to the framer and to the art print reproduction shop to have it photographed.  She is going to make some smaller prints for herself and her 2 siblings.  Then off it will go to Maine.  I will post the image I get from the print place, their photographs are so perfect.  Mine are so blurry and the color is always off.

Now I am on to my foothills running scene.  This sketch I did is 22X22″ charcoal and pencil on newsprint.  I built and stretched the canvas for this size painting.  I will start the painting on Tuesday.  This one will be looser and more are abstracted.  And I need to add a 3rd dog.  These are 5 of my running partners, 2 golden retrievers, and there was a Viszla that was bounding around in the foothills out of frame.  This one is for my running partner that is out in front.  She asked me/is commissioning me to paint a foothills & runners scene for her.

I gave this painting to my daughters ballet teacher as a end of the year thank you.  He as been her teacher for 2 years and she will have him again next year.  The girl that is front and center with her back to us and the girl just to her left are his goddaughter.  I painted her twice.  I just found that out, so I thought he was the one to have it.  I never planned to sell this, it’s a study for a larger piece I plan to do.  I think it’s 11X14.  A good gift size, not too big so if he’s not wild about it he can hang it in a small tucked away spot.  I always joke and say, “If you don’t like it, hang it in your closet.”

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Figure 8!

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There she is, the last kid to get a face.  She was the first to get a suit.  You may have noticed that in the original drawing she was wearing a string bikini, but since this is a painting for her grandparents, we decided to put a one piece on her.  This girl is tall, 6 feet.  She would tower over the little guy next to her is she stood up.  I think she is a beautiful girl.  At first I had her head turned down instead of looking out at us and she looked so so sad like that.  Her head and hair hanging down, crawling off the canvas.  She looks waaaaaaay better now.  This girls face was hard to paint because about half of it was not in frame in the original picture.  So I had to puzzle out what I thought she looks like, and I’ve never seen her before.  Her aunt sent me some other pics of her.  That helped.  If nothing else, she’s pretty and I have her high cheekbone right.

Now all I have left is that clam bucket that I have been ignoring.

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Figure 1 has a face now

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Hooray!  This buff little guy has a face now!  He was the first figure I painted in, you might remember, and I got to his face and made a few attempts at it but didn’t know what direction to take with all their faces.  So I moved on from him.  Now I’ve come back and put his face together. He’s cute, he has a baby face and a football players body.  I decided to paint their faces in all the way, pretty tight.  I didn’t know if I would like the tight painting of their faces in contrast to the loose big strokes of the sand, grass, water, hills.  But I love it.  The figures are starting to sit right in their space.  When I paint in a face I first measure where the features will go, with my divider/compass (I think it’s a divider because it’s pointy on both sides) and I mark where the eyes, nose, ear, hairline, and corners of mouth go.  At that stage the portrait is pretty terrible looking and I ALWAYS have a moment or two of self doubt.  But then I put in the darks (which makes it look worse), the medium tone, and the light.  I use 3 values to start. Then I take a picture of my painted image and a photo of the photo I’m using (so both are the same size) and I flip back and forth between the two on my phone and make adjustments.  What needs to be changed becomes pretty obvious that way.  I look at faces as shapes and values.  Whew.  I have 2 more faces to work out.  They all have faces but I’ve found it takes two passes to get them looking the way I want.

I hope I’m not boring you all posting the same painting in parts.  It’s one that has a lot to it.

I love the “heat” on those 2 girls, the one in purple and blue.  And look at her little foot and the clam in her hand.  It’s nice when I can look back and enjoy things I’ve painted, it’s not always that way.

Thanks for looking!

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Little Faces

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I (we) decided to turn Maggie’s head so that she could have her portrait painted too.  We thought she might feel left out if everyone else had their faces painted.  I also gave the guy in blue some simple features. I turned another head to paint her portrait too.  It was hard, but hopefully everyone will be happy.  I think she has a cute little face.  I think in the painting it’s one inch from chin to hairline.  It was pretty unforgiving and beat me up to there and back again.

Here’s how it was before:

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Figures 5, 6, and 7

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I’m still working out a few things with the figure in the back, but she’s close.  The girl in the middle in the blue suit is by far my favorite figure in the bunch.  The little one in purple in front with her dress stretched across her knees is also nice, but I love the color of the other gals inside leg.  It’s coming together, my guess is that it will be all finished in a week.

Thanks for your nice comments about Sammy’s art.  He is a great kid.

XOXO

The Work of Sammy Millward!

I’ve spotlighted the work of my 2 other kids, today it’s Sammy’s turn.  Hold on to your seat, Sammy is an awesome dude.  Sammy’s style is different than Ethans, and Eowyns style is different than the boys.  Sammy has always drawn incredible little drawings seemingly without looking or paying attention.  He would wow his preschool teacher by sitting and doodling while in his own little world.  It looked like he was just making little scribbles but then when he was finished he had drawn a full underwater scene with scuba diver, mask, net, flippers, fish, etc.  And he could barely write his name, like his brother.

Sammy loves cartooning.  He has created his own comic strip called “The Deep Blue Sea.”  He has drawn about 150 full pages of comics.  He is dying to publish them into a book but we haven’t figured that out yet.  Here are a few pages at random.

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Ethan was also into cartooning for a while and Sammy was always collaborating  with him on ideas and there were always arguments about whose ideas to use so finally Sammy struck out on his own.  Ethans comics are about dinosaurs and Sammys are about 8 or so little undersea creatures.  Sheldon, Stripes, Squirt, and Clam are the main characters.  The ideas pour out of him.  He takes his cartooning stuff with him to school and he works on them in the library during breaks.  I told him that was a good move for jr high, to fly under the radar and do your own thing.  At home you will find him sitting at his drafting table quietly working away.  We have to make him stop.

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Sammy also takes a teen painting class with his brother (and me and his sister) on Saturday mornings.  Here are some of his paintings.  He has painted all of his comic characters as well as his other passion, African animals.

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This is Clam and the rest of the gang.

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Check out this rhino!

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Sammy has talked about wanting to get a degree in graphic design or illustration and work for Pixar someday.  Sammy is wonderfully creative, quiet, musical, and surprising.