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View Full Version : Irish Wolfhound FINISHED


PaintDog
04-23-2011, 12:21 AM
This one's on Ampersand Aquabord (textured Claybord). It's a commissioned piece and one of the reasons I have to put that german shepherd board aside.

It's on a 9" x 12" board.

I used India ink in a Rapidograph for the darkest parts (everywhere that's black), then blocked the rest in with watercolor. It's the same dog, at two different ages. I took reference photos when he was young (upper right) and then went back a year or two later for "mature" photos.

PaintDog
04-23-2011, 12:24 AM
Here I've added more detail with watercolor. The next step will be the first pass to scratch in the hair texture and detail. I'll be working on that tonight.

artofnature
04-23-2011, 02:16 AM
Ooh Ann. This is so beautiful. Love your technique. I tried one white board but it was a bit of a disaster but you are really nailing it. Can't wait to see what you do with the scratch side of it. Pulling up a chair.

Harry Seymour
04-23-2011, 07:31 AM
Ann--your approach to character development and technique is unique and in this case has promise to be one special work of art. Looking forward to seeing it progress.

VENKAT
04-23-2011, 08:56 AM
Ann ; I rarely find the method of preparing the colored ground first and then scratch as you have done here. The problem with water color is that one cannot do overlays without disturbing the lower layer . I therefore use only acrylics. though a difficult medium to scratch. I will be watching with interest , how you are developing this .
Venkat .

SammyH
04-23-2011, 09:46 AM
Ann, wonderful start. I'll be watching.

pamelalbd
04-23-2011, 10:46 AM
My feet are Up and my coffee is hot so I'm ready to watch you work! Where is that Damn Video button............hmmmmmmmm...........I know its here somewhere.............:o

Obedec
04-23-2011, 11:49 AM
One of my most favorite, gee I wish I could have one breeds. I'd be thrilled with it at this point and I bet it will be absolutely spectacular with scratch.

03ahmed
04-23-2011, 01:53 PM
Nice start!:)

PaintDog
04-23-2011, 02:53 PM
Lesley, Harry, Sammy, Pamela & Irfan - thank you!

This surface does not scratch as well as the smooth Claybord or Scratchbord - it has lots of little bumps from the texture, and it's harder. It wears out blades a lot faster. But I like it for the way it takes watercolor. When I post the next step, you'll see that it's much lighter - I will have scratched away a LOT of the watercolor.

Venkat - you're right, the paint can lift when applying subsequent layers. That's why I scratch in between. Once there are scratches on the surface, then there's a "new" place for the watercolor to go.

Karen - yes they're gorgeous dogs and a perfect subject for scratching with all their shaggy texture.

The only time I use the textured surface is when a client wants a realistic colored portrait. Otherwise, I use a white smooth surface and ink with washes of ink in the same process. Still using EssDee for those, but will switch to Ampersand when my EssDee stash runs out.

PaintDog
04-23-2011, 02:58 PM
I made a couple of YouTube WIP videos of dog portraits using this same process. You won't see the detail you'll see when I post images here, but I think you'll get the idea.

Great Dane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx1sq7CK7gE

German Shepherd: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fGduBkk77A

theBoardLady
04-23-2011, 06:47 PM
Wonderful start, Ann. Waiting for your next update....

PatrickHedges
04-23-2011, 07:34 PM
I'll be keen to see how you go on this surface. Great start already

FoggyMountain
04-24-2011, 08:01 PM
Absolutely beautiful Ann. I like it very much.

Buggin3
04-25-2011, 01:18 PM
This is so good already that it could stand as a finished watercolor. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this further develops with scratching and more layering. Looks great!!

PaintDog
04-25-2011, 11:42 PM
Thank you Diane, Patrick, Lynn & Brett :)

Here's the portrait fully scratched - I've defined the hair texture with the scratching and softened the look of the whole thing. Seems odd that I've gotten rid of a lot of the previous stage, but I consider that my road map. Now I have a new road map with hints of the old one underneath. Next, I'll come back in with watercolor applied in a more careful manner as determined by how I've scratched.

artofnature
04-26-2011, 01:42 AM
Beautiful work Ann. looking forward to the next update.

caribouhills
04-26-2011, 02:55 AM
Looks great Ann, could you post a close up.....please.

PaintDog
04-26-2011, 03:24 AM
Thanks, Lesley & Mark!

As you requested, Mark:

annamelia
04-26-2011, 08:21 AM
Looking gorgeous - will be looking forward to seeing the next step.

birdlover
04-26-2011, 10:45 AM
Looking great. Yea those watercolor boards are hard to scratch I gave up on it. Guess I shouldn't have.

Crias
04-26-2011, 10:51 AM
coming along very nicely!

PaintDog
04-26-2011, 01:16 PM
Thanks Judy, Angela & Cathy!

Angela, these textured boards are a tough scratch. They really burn through the blades. I much prefer the smooth boards, but they take the watercolor differently than this textured board does. The paint is much less streaky on the textured board. This particular portrait was more work to scratch 'cause the dog is all texture! Some just need to be scratched in certain areas to soften/blend/define.

One thing I usually do (but forgot to on this one - d'oh!) is to take a scrubber brush and some water and gently scrub the area to be painted before I transfer the drawing. I transfer the outline of the subject and work the area inside so I don't affect the texture on the board beyond the art. That knocks down some of the bumps and makes it a bit easier to scratch (just a bit). I like the Cheap Joe's "Fritch Scrubbers" for this. On this one, I spaced out and went ahead and transferred the entire drawing and didn't want to have to erase that and start over.

PatrickHedges
04-26-2011, 06:07 PM
Cool!! Thanks for the closeup.

PaintDog
06-05-2011, 04:58 PM
More work done on this guy too. The upper portrait is pretty much done. I haven't done anything on the lower one since I last posted.

Since the last post, I added more watercolor to the upper dog, a little bit of scratching to fine-tune and topped it off with color pencil (Prismacolor) as needed.

lorna12
06-06-2011, 01:01 AM
Thanks for the closeups. He looks amazing!

I've often wondered how that surface would be to scratch on.

PaintDog
06-06-2011, 03:37 AM
Thank you, Lorna!

I have to say I don't really enjoy this surface for scratching. It's not an easy, smooth scratch since it has the textured surface. It must also be a denser coating than the claybord/scratchbord, because it really wears blades down quickly.

Having said that, I still like it for these mixed media pieces because it accepts color well and can be scratched as needed.

SueR
06-06-2011, 11:32 AM
Wonderful work!

PaintDog
06-15-2011, 02:28 AM
I think I'm done with the watercolor work on the lower portrait. I made an animated GIF - the lighter one is the previous stage (shown in my last update) and the darker one is how it looks as of today.

What's left is some scratching and color pencil to fine-tune the details. The next time I post, it'll be the finished board.

artofnature
06-15-2011, 02:42 AM
Gee it's looking great Ann

lorna12
06-15-2011, 05:55 AM
That's looks cool! Nice work.

PawClaw
06-18-2011, 08:23 PM
Very nice! Fur and coloring look great!
Judy

Ramie Leigh
06-18-2011, 09:02 PM
Color me very impressed with the detail you're able to achieve with the Aquabord, it is a complete and utter beast to scratch! I work on it with washes of acrylic paint, so I can scratch it a little more easily by wetting it, waiting for a bit for the clay surface to 'soften,' and then scratching, but it's still a brute to scratch.

It truly was the perfect choice to depict the coat of a wolfhound - coarse, yet soft; smooth, but not.

PaintDog
06-19-2011, 01:21 AM
Thank you, Lesley, Lorna, Judy & Ramie :)

Yes Ramie, I totally agree! The Aquabord is a "beast to scratch"! I don't do nearly as much scratching on one of these pieces as I would on Claybord or Scratchbord, but I use it because I want to be able to do some scratching for texture. Also, I use a #16 X-Acto blade - it's a little more substantial at the business end, so I can dig through the texture a little better. I only use the Aquabord when a client wants a full color pet portrait.

PaintDog
06-22-2011, 01:41 AM
Another thing I dislike about this Aquabord (textured Clayboard) is that the scans are a giant pain to clean up! All those bumps of the texture get picked up by the scanner and I have to clean them out of the background so it's white.

Still, I'll continue to use the stuff because I DO like the effects it allows.

Mark this boy "Finished", please!

Here is the final and a couple of details:

aaces
06-22-2011, 01:50 AM
Wow Ann....These two turned out Fantastic! Nice job on the artwork and with sharing the info on the Aquaboard! :clap: :clap: :clap:

nalysale
06-22-2011, 02:36 AM
This one's on Ampersand Aquabord (textured Claybord). It's a commissioned piece and one of the reasons I have to put that german shepherd board aside.

It's on a 9" x 12" board.

I used India ink in a Rapidograph for the darkest parts (everywhere that's black), then blocked the rest in with watercolor. It's the same dog, at two different ages. I took reference photos when he was young (upper right) and then went back a year or two later for "mature" photos.

Really great and interesting work.In case of oil paintings too, there can be so many sub themes. On the basis of medium too, painting themes are selected. Oil, watercolor, pastel colors, ink etc. are the media that are chosen for painting. Similarly, animal themes may include Camel Paintings, Cat Paintings, Elephant Paintings many more.

lorna12
06-22-2011, 05:57 AM
Great finish Ann! I had a small board so I tried working on it...didn't like it...not even for watercolour. Found it a giant pain.:lol: So more kudos to you for achieving this!

tanianault
06-22-2011, 12:21 PM
Lovely portraits, Ann, and thanks for posting them as a WIP! Like peeking over your shoulder :)

- Tania

VENKAT
06-22-2011, 01:00 PM
Excellent in every respect , coloring , work on fur. The close ups look great
Venkat

PaintDog
06-22-2011, 03:19 PM
Thank you Lorna, Allan, Tania & Venkat - I'm glad you like it! Nalysale, I'm not sure what you're on about, but thanks, I suppose.:confused:

I got an e-mail back from my client this morning, she said "It looks so beautiful!", so I'm very happy. I've done other portraits for her and have some watercolor on Yupo cat portraits still left to do - she's a wonderful client. Also, the timing is perfect since she told me has a wolfhound group get-together on Saturday. We're meeting Friday morning for the "handoff".

Thanks all, for looking over my shoulder on this one :)

And Lorna, now you know why Ramie & I had a little "b*tch fest" about this surface. It's a love-hate thing for me. Hmmmm, much like my love for Rapidograph pens ;)

emilycolors
06-22-2011, 06:53 PM
Ann, even if the surface is a pain you sure pull a great style out of it! It looks wonderful! Great work!

PatrickHedges
06-22-2011, 09:12 PM
What a superb board this turned into!!

PaintDog
06-23-2011, 04:18 AM
Thank you, Patrick & Emily :-)

I did one more thing tonight, made an animated GIF of the WIP for my blog:

Ramie Leigh
06-25-2011, 02:08 PM
Thank you, Lesley, Lorna, Judy & Ramie :)

Yes Ramie, I totally agree! The Aquabord is a "beast to scratch"! I don't do nearly as much scratching on one of these pieces as I would on Claybord or Scratchbord, but I use it because I want to be able to do some scratching for texture. Also, I use a #16 X-Acto blade - it's a little more substantial at the business end, so I can dig through the texture a little better. I only use the Aquabord when a client wants a full color pet portrait.

Ann, I thought of you and this thread just last night! What with one thing and another, I ended up with some samples of Ampersand's new stuff, EncausticBoard, to play with, and although I haven't messed with it much just yet, I think there's a sporting chance that you would LOVE it! It's almost exactly halfway between Claybord and Aquabord; it picks up paint like watercolor paper, like Aquabord does, but doesn't have that heavy 'cold press' texture to contend with when you try to scratch back into it. It's still quite hard (like Aquabord), but the texture is a smooth, even 'sandpaper.' It's got a satisfying 'roughness' to the scratch - it doesn't immediately scratch to white - but you don't have to claw at it to get a mark to show. Big difference between using a dull blade and a sharp one - on Claybord, y'know, a dull blade just wants to pick and skip, on the Encausticbord, it just takes off less paint. A sharp blade cuts a good white line (I scratch with a snap-off knife.)

If it's not obvious yet, I just may have found my new boyfriend. LOVE this surface!

PaintDog
06-25-2011, 05:08 PM
Oooooh,I like the sound of that! Thanks for the helpful review of the stuff, Ramie. Guess what's going to be in my next Blick order!? ;)

FoggyMountain
06-25-2011, 05:26 PM
Spectacular finish Ann. I'd be happy with them too if I were your client. Really excellent work.

Diana Lee
06-25-2011, 07:16 PM
Amazing!!! Beautifully executed!! The end result says it all.

Diana

Obedec
06-25-2011, 07:37 PM
Just absolutely gorgeous!

Harry Seymour
06-27-2011, 11:23 AM
Ann--this is an impressive piece of work. Love the texture your amazing skills. I'm going to have to try that encausticboard.

PaintDog
06-27-2011, 12:29 PM
Thank you, Lynn, Diana, Karen & Harry! The client was very pleased and it always feels great to hand over a finished portrait. Of course, getting paid is nice, but once a commission is done, I want it out of my hands and off to its new owner ASAP. I just don't like finished portraits sitting around here too long - it's weird juju for me. And then I have this little ritual of tearing up the printed reference photos - I keep them until after the successful hand-off, then dispose of them.

Daniel Smith had a 20% off sale over the weekend, so I ordered some Encausticbord. I'll report back after I've tried it, although I'm sure after Ramie's thumbs-up review, I'll like it!

tigress
08-06-2011, 09:17 PM
I just found this. Amazing!!! The animation is so helpful. I have a few of these boards still to use but I certainly did not know that scratching was possible as they are not advertised that way.