True Love

The finishing touches have finally been applied on the large commission painting for my friends. I am very pleased with the final outcome. I’m hoping they will ♥ it! I’ll ship it in a couple of weeks – just in time for the New Year! Since it’s not a surprise, I’m sure they won’t mind if I share it with you.

As I had mentioned in previous posts, I began the painting in September and had to take a bit of time off and work slowly due to my new elbow and nerve injury. Painting once again proved my saving grace, and although difficult at times, helped my mental state during the healing process.

Shiela and Leo - True Love
True Love

Rhino

Our family visited the Detroit Zoo a few weeks ago and I swear the animals were posing for me! One of our favorites is the giant majestic rhinoceros.  We have two rhinos at the zoo and this day they were front and center.

Male Southern white rhinoceroses Jasiri (“courageous” in Swahili) and Tamba (“strut proudly” in Swahili) arrived in 2005 as the first of their species to live at the Detroit Zoo. Jasiri often shows his playful side by ganging up on his toys while running around the habitat. Tamba is the more dominant of the two and struts around with confidence and intelligence. Detroitzoo.org

Because of the small sized Bristol board I used, the head size had to be reduced in order to fit in the other features. My version below looks a bit more like a juvenile, but I went with it. I love his sweet expression.

Detroit Zoo Rhinoceros
Baby Rhino

Baaaaaa

Hello again. It’s been a while since I posted. After my last few paintings for others, I wanted to create something for our home. We have a large yellow-golden wall in the living room that begs for an equally large colorful painting. I like to change up my decorative pictures depending on the season and I needed a large spring / summertime image to fill the space.

After weeks of scouring my own pictures and the internet, I discovered this one on Flickr taken by a German photographer; a herd of sheep grazing the hillside at dusk. The vibrant colors and quirky composition grabbed me the moment I spotted it. The colors would match beautifully with our interiors. I know they say Art doesn’t have to match, but I guess I haven’t fully bought into that notion.

The number of sheep became overwhelming for me and I wasn’t convinced that I could get away with the angle. The more I stared at the “gaggle,” the more I saw them standing on their heads! I couldn’t leave it like this — it would drive the OCD in me crazy. I pared down the heard to a manageable size; one that I could have more control over.

Grazing
“Gaggle of Sheep”

Less sheep became even fewer sheep. At one point, my son commented that they look like elephants! Yikes! I love elephants, but that was not the goal! On to yet another reiteration of sheep.

Baaa
Refining

Finally, once I had a much more manageable group of “sheep-like” animals; I began detailing the faces. It was surprising to me if you change one little line that indicates bone structure or move the placement of the ears upward, they look like a completely different animal — think female lion. Below shows the finished painting on our wall. The yellow fields match perfectly!
Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…

Baaa
Baaa
mini

Traditional Ojibwa Girl

Young Ojibwa Girl

This painting was done for my beautiful niece Brianna. She and her sisters are part Cherokee / Ojibwa on their mom’s side. I hope she loves it.

I knew going into this, it would be a challenge, but one that I needed to tackle head on (literally and figuratively). I really haven’t painted a face in oils, let alone a Native American.

Ojibwa Girl
Second Attempt

The first step was to locate images of Ojibwa Indians. I discovered this one of a young native girl on the internet, only it was in black and white. Next, I searched for color images of the traditional clothing and was able to find what I believe matched her outfit.

Once I got the clothing blocked in, I went back on to work on her face. I had to consult my books on proper facial structure and Google painting combinations for Native American skin pigmentation.I must have revisited her poor face and neck at least ten times before I was content enough to let it go.

I admit she was headless a few times in the process; looked like Pocahontas; looked too Caucasian; too African-American; too old; and had a broken nose. At one point (about 3 in the morning) I swear she even looked exactly like Ryan Gosling!!

Young Ojibwe Girl
Ojibwa Girl

Airbus A380

The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest commercial airplane and my 12-year-old son is obsessed!  Now that his “mature” bedroom remodel is complete, I offered to paint a few of his most favorite things to hang on the walls. First up is the Airbus.

Airbus A380
Airbus A380

This double-deck, wide-body, four-engine behemoth began its service in 2007 as part of Singapore Airlines. As of October 2015, 173 aircraft have been delivered, with 317 more on order. The upper deck extends the entire length of the fuselage and its width is equivalent to a large-body aircraft.

The cabin has just over 5,900 square feet of usable floor space, that’s 40% greater than the next largest aircraft, and can carry between roughly 500 to 800 passengers depending upon configuration. The A380 can fly nonstop from Dallas, Texas to Sydney, Australia.

In order to truly appreciate the massive scale of the A380 you really have to see it in comparison to a typical size aircraft. I’ve included a couple of images from the Internet that show you the enormity of this flying machine.