Friday Night Art – PetArtWorks edition

Steve MerrymanArtsy Fartsy Friday6 Comments

Yesterday I re-launched my pet portrait side-business, I guess it's only appropriate that this week's Friday Night Art should be pet-centric.

You've already seen the very first pet portrait I did of Boris (that was Friday Night Art #1), and in my Big Announcement post of yesterday you saw a couple more recent paintings of Boris and Beorn.

I spent a few years doing only portraits of these two. That sounds like a lot, but really it was only a few: I wasn't constantly doing portraits, but when I did dog paintings, the subject was usually one of them since I had plenty of photo references to work from.

When I started PetArtWorks last year, I also set up a Facebook page hoping it would help me publicize the web site and stimulate interest.

I held a couple contests for free pet portraits, trying to stimulate orders and interest. I discovered that Facebook is great if you want to hold contests to give something away for free. As for paying customers?

I'm still waiting for my first Facebook sale.

One of the contests I held was "A pet and their human" contest in which everyone entered by submitting a photo of them with their pet and the winner would get a free portrait inspired by their entry photo.

This is a video of a painting I did of one of the entrants (not the winner, but I did this one for fun anyway).

The video is interesting because it shows two things:

  1. It shows that I paint very much like a traditional painter (dark to light, large to small shapes, highlights last, etc.
  2. It also shows the ease with which digital allows me to recover from a mistake. On the girl's face I erroneously went too light too soon, and kept fiddling with it trying to save it, but in the end just wiped it out and started over. You can do this in oils, but it's risky for a number of reasons. In digital, it's a breeze.

I created the music in Garageband, and produced the video in Adobe Premiere.

Note: click the video go-button on the bottom left. For some reason the center button won't work in this Wordpress theme.


Steve Merryman is a cranky old fart. He writes about things that make him tick, and things that tick him off. You may object to his views; you may think he's a moron; and you might wish to tell him so. In return he would remind you that his lack of concern for your feelings is only exceeded by his indifference to your opinions. Good day, Sir!

6 Comments on “Friday Night Art – PetArtWorks edition”

  1. I love watching that the way that dogs love watching people fix air conditioners. It’s really cool, but I don’t even know enough to know what I don’t know.

    But at least I know that I don’t know.

    What sort of elapsed real time is that?

    1. Normally, that painting would have taken no more than an hour because I kept it fairly loose and didn’t waste too much time on detail. But in this case it took closer to two hours because my screen recording software slows the rendering of my brush strokes, forcing me to go much slower. It drives me nuts, but I stuck with for this demo.

      It’s fun watching an image take shape. My daughter said there are people in her office who are fascinated by these types of videos and watch them endlessly, sort of like a dog watching someone fix air conditioners.

      I wish my computer could keep up with my brushstrokes so I could do more of these.

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