View Full Version : What's On Your Easel: September.

Charlie's Mum
09-01-2011, 11:57 AM
Here's the end of last month's thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14020090#post14020090).

It seems to have been a very productive month in August - so if this thread gets very busy, we can always go back to a Weekly WOYE next month.

I'm about to try to start a painting but I've been promising myself that since Sunday and here we are at Thursday already!

Let's see what you have all been doing ...... :)

09-01-2011, 04:14 PM

Update on the dahlias. I blocked in the leftover white areas with color. Started doing some lighting work on the leaves. Still a LOT to get done! But, I needed to see no more white for motivational reasons. :lol:

09-01-2011, 04:50 PM
Hey, September already, time fly's when your having fun, they say. Does that apply to a here fore never tried comp challenge? So many nice pieces on WC last month, I imagine this month to be even better.
I need not say that Hurricane season is upon us. Started this a few days ago. 30" x 20" canvas board.
So... I give up,...what is it? :)
As I am more accustomed to drawing in in the horizontal, trying to keep the smudging down to a minimum.
Doing a segment at the time and the back/fore ground last (probably a mistake).
We'll see how that works :rolleyes:

Charlie's Mum
09-01-2011, 05:37 PM
You've got me stumped with this one Eric!

Melissa I really like the way this is developing - has a rather naive quality to it which is very nice :D

Did get a start on my painting this afternoon - about an hour.
It's approx 9"x11" on a piece of textured mountboard (matboard) and from a digi I did for the WDE last weekend - a wet Florida morning I think! (Ruby Red Dog supplied the ref). Loved the wet reflections of lights on the road and never painted cars in acrylic before so fancied the challenge .... only ever done a couple of w/c vehicles:eek:


09-01-2011, 06:00 PM
Hello everyone!(:
I'm a newbie here (on Wetcanvas and painting-wise) and oh boy, was I excited for this what's-on-your-eastel.
It's so great to see eveybody's paintings on the first day!
I think they're going beautifully.
Ah, also, I was planning on uploading a pic on the one I'm working on, but I wasn't sure how. Do you click on the "post reply" button at the top and go from there?
Thanks x

09-01-2011, 06:09 PM
Got nibs, so am back at it layering colors - this time first antelope brown, then raw sienna, then another one of antelope brown... :thumbsup:


09-01-2011, 09:11 PM
Alright, I hope I'm doing this correctly.
First upload is a go!
Anyway, this is my 7th painting I've done (that I like) this summer. At least, I kinda like how the colours are going. It's 18x24, on canvas and it's from one of my sketches from my Grade 10 art class(:
I've still got lots to do, so please, point out anything that needs to be pointed out :D


09-01-2011, 10:01 PM
Welcome Honeybunch, it's always nice to have another WIP poster.
The street fair painting colors are interesting., sorta mod.. The one thing I noticed right away.
The Ferris wheel perspective is backwards, the big wheel should be towards the viewer.
Melissa, they're starting to bloom nicely...more water !!
Maureen: The cars even look like cars, so they're off to a great start..:)

09-01-2011, 10:11 PM
Honeybunch....SugarBritches....all I have is just plain ol Raymo. Imma have to think up a good name for meself.

09-01-2011, 10:20 PM
and oh boy, was I excited for this what's-on-your-eastel.

When I first came here, I thought it said "what's on your weasel"....I thought to myself that that seemed pretty personal. I just read it wrong....:eek:

09-01-2011, 11:15 PM
Thank you so much, Raymo!(: oh darn, how did I manage to post it sideways? haha, oh well. I suppose "interesting" is always good, eh? At least, I hope so.
Heh, I knew something looked kind of off! Ah, let's just say the whole backwards ferris wheel was planned xD.

Charlie's Mum
09-02-2011, 01:34 PM
Honeyb - welcome to our world ....... and don't worry, you'll learn!!

I rather like the naive look to your painting - it's quite like an illustration and the ferris wheel being 'odd' kinda suits it!
Not sure about the clouds colour - but there again, I'm sure that deliberate in developing your own style ....... keep going! :D

Robert, your infinite patience is amazing!

Raymo - keep your name - we'd never find you otherwise ;)

09-02-2011, 03:02 PM
Hi Everyone,

I always come and peek and am so impressed with everyone's works in progress.
This month is off to a good start as wellÖ

Melissa your dahlia's are coming along so beautifully and yes I'm with you I have to get rid of all the white as well then I can get down to business..will be watching.

Eric I'll be interested to see this develop cause I'm afraid I don't have a clue where you're headed but am looking forward to following you to see.

Maureen this is already looking good, neat comp it already looks like you've aced the cars so far..this will be another stunner I'm sure.

Robert always amazing, talent wise and patience wise.

honeybunches so nice to welcome you to WC, have to agree the ferriswheel seems to suit the piece, I like it!!

Raymo my man, oh I can help you there if ya like, I got lots of names for you..haha
So what's on your Easel er or do you even know where it is..LOL

Nothing been on my easel for awhile, nothing especially creative anyway but I'll just keep coming in here you all will inspire me. Happy Painting everyone.

Hugs all round,

09-02-2011, 04:10 PM
Got a little more done last night. It starting to look like something, recognizable, I hope.
I don't normally gift wrap my dumpster paintings :lol:


09-02-2011, 06:06 PM
And on the rest of the dresser [except for the drawer], antelope brown...


09-02-2011, 06:46 PM
I fully intended to post this update, but I can't find it anywhere. Excuse if it's here somewhere already. C&C most appreciated.


09-02-2011, 09:31 PM
Hello everybody!
Thank you so much a warm welcome! I think I'm beginning to like the backwards ferris wheel more and more :)
I changed the ground colour (via glazing) and did some small details. It's nearly done now, just got the sidewalk, people and ittty bitty details left to go.
I've never heard of naive art until, so I went and googled it up and found a near-carbon copy to my own painting (though from a different perspective). I didn't know that it was an actual style :P
Thanks for all the encouragement :D


09-03-2011, 12:16 PM
HoneyBunch....you should check out Paul Corfield. You would love his work.

09-03-2011, 04:53 PM
Hey Raymo, Grant Wood [the Country Cornflakes guy] came along before Paul Corfield! :) :)

09-03-2011, 05:24 PM
Still working on the Dodge truck. Now about 15 h into it. Need to readjust some of the perspective (headlamps, truck bonnet line) and increase the highlights on certain parts (left wheel cover/fender). Then add the rearview mirror and radio antenna, increasing the see-thru of the side window, and redo the grass/weeds. ~ another 2-3 h. Most of the recent time (~2 h) was spent widening the right front of the driver side cab. This meant paint-over and redo. Only one more vehicle to go for the show next year. When I finish it, I'll post a quality foto, not one taken in the garage!


09-03-2011, 07:41 PM
And got the layering of antelope brown over the drawer, thus, for now getting the dresser done, and ready to get on with the last part - the background :clap: :clap: :clap:


that truck is really 'moving' along... :D

09-03-2011, 10:17 PM
Hey Raymo, Grant Wood [the Country Cornflakes guy] came along before Paul Corfield! :) :)
I'm gonna check him out. Brb....

Wow, I didnt know he painted like that. Heck I thought Corfield came up with that but you can defiitely see where he got that from.

09-03-2011, 10:21 PM
old_hobbyist....your truck is gorgeous, some of your best work !

09-03-2011, 11:57 PM
Hobbiest: The Dodge looks done already... awesome.
Robert, can you eMail me a couple of pounds of your patience.

My intent was to depict a storm leaving, the scene, don't know if I achieved the effect. Need some C&C here, please !!
Serious water work need to be done, yet.
"After the Storm" 30"x 20", canvas panel, acrylics

09-04-2011, 12:33 AM
Patience? she took off with 'wonderboy' some time ago... if I still had her around, this'd be all done a week or more ago:evil::lol::lol:

Charlie's Mum
09-04-2011, 12:10 PM
The truck is really coming along well Jim - so is 'The Lady Lizard'! - tho' I wouldn't like to see her on my dresser ;) ;)

Raymo - must look up Paul Corfield - and also Grant Wood:thumbsup:

I like the storm/ship Eric - just wondering about the sky colour? The sea movement is great - is it finished? Wondered about a bit more detail in the foreground sea and rocks? You know I know nothing about ships, but this seems good to me!

Sandy - I like the colours of the rose :D

Honeyb (have you a name we can use? :D) - if you wanted realism, you would need to apply the perspective rules to the ferris wheel too - but I find this painting charming :) When you looked things up, did you find Grandma Moses?:)

Finished my 'Traffic Jam in the Rain' - too much tweaking lost me the looseness I wanted - but that's me! Duh!


09-04-2011, 12:47 PM
Maureen, the reflections are outstanding, particularly those on the nearest car side. For your next project, try some chrome.

Charlie's Mum
09-04-2011, 03:32 PM
Well Jim - there's a challenge! My first car(s), my first wet scene ... now onto 'first chrome' ........ have to give it some thought!
Thanks so much for your comment :)

09-04-2011, 04:21 PM
Cars don't have chrome anymore... they are plastic!!!:D Looks really good Maureen. Nice and wet and too much traffic, lol.

Eric the ship is well painted and I believe the remainder will be good too. The horizon line is a little too sharp IMO, with a storm the sky and horizon would 'fuzz' together more. Also your ship is going to flounder, I would think a ship that size has a large draft but maybe the storm caused it to be so close to the rocks and shallow water. I was wondering where you were going with this and I don't think I would have had the patience to paint the background around the ship. Looking forward to updates.

Good to have a decent internet hookup again and follow along on all the excellent work. I enjoy watching the progress and try to learn something from each of you. Except I will never have the patience of Robert.:eek: :lol:

09-04-2011, 04:28 PM
WOW! Such beautiful works here! Great job everyone!

Here is a very large painting i am working on now.Its 36 x 48.Still a long ways to go,thanks for looking,Janhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Sep-2011/21385-Aspen_tree_Commission_003.JPG

09-04-2011, 07:59 PM
Calling it done.
Thanks Patti, good eye, I fuzzed it up and lightened the storm cloud a bit.

Ship : HMAS Yandra , Australian
Yandra ran aground during a storm on a rocky island in the Neptune Group, near the entrance to Spencer Gulf, 25 January, 1959. The crew of twenty-three used a breeches buoy to abandon the vessel, and reached the island safely, leaving her rolling and bumping heavily on the rocks. A tug battled rough seas to save the stranded steamer, but she could not be re-floated.

09-04-2011, 08:56 PM
Ship : HMAS Yandra , Australian
Yandra ran aground during a storm on a rocky island in the Neptune Group, near the entrance to Spencer Gulf, 25 January, 1959. The crew of twenty-three used a breeches buoy to abandon the vessel, and reached the island safely, leaving her rolling and bumping heavily on the rocks. A tug battled rough seas to save the stranded steamer, but she could not be re-floated.
Aha, I see. Thanks for the background information (adds interest) and you caught that look. :thumbsup: The horizon looks better also. I started a painting about a year and half ago of some shrimp boats... it's still in the underpainted stage and hanging on the wall in my studio. I like the sky but the rest just didn't suit me and I kinda gave up for awhile. Need to get back to it. I like paintings of boats.

Looking good Zena.

09-04-2011, 09:37 PM
Okay, enough! ~18 h on the Julian CA truck! I'm gonna go onto something else. Might still fuss with it later but...


09-04-2011, 10:09 PM
In doing the background, am layering in two layers - and so as to show how it ought to end up, am showing both, in progress, so to see why the first one [red earth] is there, and layered over with antelope brown...:clap:


[and that truck looks like still able to drive right off the screen... WELL DONE :thumbsup:]

09-04-2011, 10:45 PM
I am insanely jealous of your patience, Robert. How many hours do you estimate you have into that lizard? He is quite incredible. And it is coming along very well!!

oldhobbyist, I love that truck. It looks like a truck I have in a picture box somewhere. Very nice.

I have an updated photo of the flowers coming later tonight. Am just sitting down to paint now! Been a long weekend... can't wait to unwind! ;)

09-05-2011, 06:12 PM
And here is the first layering of the background done -


as for hours on this, probably somewhere between 25 and 30 hours figure for the whole work when done [maybe 2 hours or so left to do]...

and yes, had thought of the red earth as the background, but in my mind thought it a bit garrish, so layering the antelope brown over to give a warm dark brown, enough to 'pop' the picture...

09-05-2011, 06:42 PM
Hello everyone~
I'm back, after a long, freezing weekend(:
Raymo- I just checked both of them up right now! You're right, I do love'em! Especially those circular trees. Gotta love those.
Charlie's Mum- Thank you!c: Ahh, I tried and tried, haha, but I suppose I still need to work on my realism skills. Which is why I may go back to doin' landscapes and the like again, or gonna challenge myself into doing another genre (my next painting is gonna be of roses):D

People, I look up to you guys. I'm gonna keep on practising so that my paintings will be up to par someday;D

09-05-2011, 07:45 PM
Honeyb... I'm amazed at the one you've posted. I think you are well on your way! Everyone has a different style and technique... and there's something about the one you have up that makes me want to just stare at it for hours. It's beautiful! Keep it up! :)

09-05-2011, 09:27 PM
And I have made an end of it...:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :thumbsup:


[will do a sharper image tomorrow - too tired at the moment]

09-05-2011, 09:39 PM
I can't wait to see it, clearer! The wood grain looks like it is sparkling in the light on the back wall. It looks very cool!

09-06-2011, 04:10 AM

Still a bit to do. Any C&C welcome. I've never done anything so intense before. Somehow the portrait I did seemed easier... :lol:

09-06-2011, 06:09 AM
Very interesting work, Melissa... yes, strong colors, but they do well, and go well with the crispness of the whole... :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Charlie's Mum
09-06-2011, 12:48 PM
Amazing Robert! - really like this!

Melissa - I think this is gorgeous - love the style and the strong colours .... it's very individual.

09-06-2011, 02:28 PM
Thanks, guys! Lots of shadows and details to do in a painting like this! The leaves aren't done, and I'm unsure about the background. But I think I'm finished with the flowers. Unless anything stands out to you guys!

09-06-2011, 04:04 PM
I seem to have taking a path of painting rusty, dilapidated old things.
So, I thought I'd do a self-portrait to complete the series with this dumpster piece.
C&C please.

09-06-2011, 05:33 PM
here is a sharper image, tho not yet the best as seems a wee lighter on the right than ought to be... [sigh]


09-07-2011, 12:19 AM

I think I might be done! Thoughts?

09-07-2011, 01:30 AM
you all are setting the standard to amazing! it's very inspiring to see such beautiful painting. thank you for sharing!

09-07-2011, 04:29 AM
I'm currently playing around with this record.


09-07-2011, 08:07 AM
I've been out. Everyone has really been up to a lot of work this month already. More later, in short Robert - he looks grand. I agree the brown is wonderful on top of the red, really pulls it down a bit and doesn't fight with the main scene. Really love seeing how your drawings progress. Get rid of the flash to get a better photo. Maureen - wet and wonderful cars. I know what you mean about overworking - sometimes it's really difficult to know when to continue and when to stop (usually stopping 15 minutes after one should have! UGH, I know the feeling well.). CPT - the record looks disturbing (I mean this in a good way!). Sugarbritches - looks good. I think you put a lot of time into it, no?

Nothing is on my canvas. OK, a bunch of small 3D test samples, mostly black, with iredescent medium, which doesn't really photograph, so showing you would not really be helpful. So I took a screendump of my monitor instead - this is what I am drawing as a base for my next painting. Yes, it is my foot, in case anyone needs it for a crime scene. ;)


09-07-2011, 10:19 PM
Melissa loving the progress of the new Dahlias, Might I suggest some Very light highlights here and there on the flowers and leaves??!
Maureen, what a great painting, cars and BG look great! awesome reflections
Eric, Great ship,I didn't know what it was at first, great stormy seas and skies
honeybunches, Great start, love the sky graduating to ground well done on the clouds too! browns are different, they'd look even more realistic in blue/grays!
Robert, Love your leezard an background, fabulous finish!!
Jim, your old dodge looks great, love the folage too!
Jan, fabulous start on your trees!
Cpt, Great face, you going to paint the record bakground??
Allison, ahhh aren't there a few missing toes?? LOL

09-07-2011, 11:37 PM
A little different from my rusty doodles of late.
Started this a few days ago and couldn't leave it. (insomnia) Things went faster the I thought, she's just about done.
Did this backwards with BG last. Not sure if thats the correct way to go for me.
18" x 24", canvas board, acrylic

(color shift day and night pics) :o

C&C welcome as always.

09-08-2011, 12:07 AM
cpt, great! Keep'em coming! Do you have any problem getting the acrylic to stick to the vinyl?

09-09-2011, 08:56 AM
Great works coming along!

Yesterday I finished this one:


09-11-2011, 02:17 AM
Eric, great painting, love the title too.."Two Lips" fits well!:D
Eveline, Great painting, might I suggest darkening the inside mouth, kinda looks unfinished, or did you since you took the photo?

Finaly started this one today.. this is just the underpainting.

09-11-2011, 10:13 AM
THanks OkeeKat!
Actually the reference pic shows a very light mouth (http://i53.tinypic.com/2ue7j46.jpg). I think I'm going to leave it that way. Any thoughts?

Very nice underpainting already too!!

Charlie's Mum
09-11-2011, 12:33 PM
Eveline - that's an odd ref with the light shining into the mouth!:lol: ...... I think I'd try just to get a bit more form and definition into it to make it more believable.

Nice one Eric - clever idea :D

Another series of instrumental close-ups Kathie? Nice :D

09-11-2011, 01:39 PM
I resumed this painting abandoned for so long. It was started in 2005 (maybe 2006), further corrections in 2009, more correct at the beginning of 2011. Maybe now is the time to finish it.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Sep-2011/201712-DSC_2630.jpg

09-11-2011, 01:46 PM
Maureen, Thanks yes, doing two close up instrument paintings, my brother is going to auction them at a benefit.
this old wooden violin is going to be a challenge with the woodgrain.
sketching out the second one now.

Eveline, that is an odd ref photo, appears he swallowed a light bulb, hehe, I agree with Maureen, I'd soften it with some darker pink tones and grays maybe for the teeth. too bright its almost distracting, but thats just a personal choice.
Monet, awesome portrait, Love it already, fabulous skintones, I'm sure you'll finish it up in no time.

09-12-2011, 12:28 AM
Started on my second painting to at least get the underpainting done,
Guitar and rose... now back to work on the Violin!
they both are 16x20.

09-12-2011, 02:19 PM
Started on my second painting to at least get the underpainting done,
Guitar and rose... now back to work on the Violin!
they both are 16x20.

Red and white, looking good!
A really good start.

09-12-2011, 02:36 PM
THANK YOU very much Mimmo, glad you like it!! :)

09-12-2011, 04:34 PM
Great paintings everyone! That portrait is amazing! And Kathie,i just love that guitar and rose painting! Here is where i'm at with this one,large,2 canvases measuring 36 x 48 sise by side.Painted with brush and palatte knife.I'm going to change the leaves that are on the large trees,,don't like them at all.But going to keep the larger more detailed ones.Lots more to do,Thanks,Janhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Sep-2011/21385-Aspen_tree_Commission_WIP_003.JPG

09-12-2011, 08:56 PM
Zena I LOVE the bark on those trees! So pretty!

09-12-2011, 11:38 PM
Thankyou so much Melissa! I did them with the palette knife.I like how they turned out as well! Hugz,Jan

09-13-2011, 05:45 AM
well, I've been AWOL awhile; lots of day job interfering with the rest of my life and then I went to Italy for 2 1/2 weeks. ;-) Having trouble getting back into the mundane routine. For some photos of my trip, check my art blog starting about 8/15. Tonight I'm up late because tomorrow night I have to do a graveyard shift so I'm staying up late so I can sleep tomorrow. Just finished two quick studies of bell peppers.
This first piece is done using Atelier Interactive acrylics on colored handmade paper. I hadn't tried this paper yet and it's thinner than the other handmade paper I bought. I didn't use a lot of water and it was ok, though it buckled a little.

I used the other half of the sheet of paper for this one; soft pastels and pastel pencils.

Lots of great stuff here as usual!

09-13-2011, 06:39 AM
This is the one I started this week... just roughed in. It's a portrait of my girl Verity who is now sadly passed away, she was an Australian Shepherd and blue merle with copper and white. I expect it will be slow going because of that. On the upside, I started the kitty in the Different Strokes challenge last night which is almost done. 8x10 on canvas

09-13-2011, 11:31 AM
This is the one I started this week... just roughed in. It's a portrait of my girl Verity who is now sadly passed away, she was an Australian Shepherd and blue merle with copper and white. I expect it will be slow going because of that. On the upside, I started the kitty in the Different Strokes challenge last night which is almost done. 8x10 on canvas

Wow, wish my "just roughed in" looked that good.:lol:

09-13-2011, 05:58 PM
Jan, Loveing the trees!!
Mary, Both of your peppers are fabulous!! great work!
WYSIWYG, your roughed in dog is amazing, can't wait to see the finished product!!

update on my Violin.. still alot to go yet!!

09-13-2011, 06:46 PM
I just found and read this thread--- WOW ! My hat is off to ALL of you, these are all beautiful and wonderful works of art. Love them !!!

09-13-2011, 08:24 PM
thanks, feel free to jump in and post something your working on!!

09-13-2011, 08:41 PM
Kathie-- Your paintings are awesome-- violin( still a lot to go yet) I wish my finished pieces could look as good as yours ( lot to go). Yes- I just posted a sunrise pic and then I found this thread. I did not realize that some of the sticky threads were current. I am still finding out things about the website.

09-13-2011, 08:53 PM

09-13-2011, 09:13 PM

Just started the under painting on this! Well, started last night/morning... before I decided that 2:30 am needed to be bedtime!

I got this image from a reference photo on WC! But, the reference library seems to be shut down for the time being. So, I will post that at a later time!

09-13-2011, 09:57 PM
Melissa your under painting is off to a very good start, I look forward to seeing your finished work.

Keith -- I love the look of the sky-- dramatic-- very nice !!

09-13-2011, 11:13 PM
Keith, Sky is awesome, anxious to see this evolve.. kinda looks like a Halloweeen painting... eerie skies.
Melissa, Love the macro, my favorite kind to paint, your off to a great start. Sound like hours I keep too!! :lol:

09-14-2011, 12:39 AM
Well, I tried to post my WIP but neither the attachment nor the insert function is working. Sigh!

09-14-2011, 03:15 AM
update after a few hrs tonight.
(used the landscape icon to post, working ok now)

09-14-2011, 07:05 AM

Stopping point for the night. Got a bit more achieved. Maybe just a day or two more for this!

Sorry for the glare. Flash was on, and the two that had no flash were blurry. Blast! :p

09-14-2011, 07:10 AM

Also, this is the ref photo. I didn't write down who posted it, and the library isn't working. So, I'll get to posting that credit ASAP! Night, friends! :)

09-14-2011, 03:16 PM
Oh Melissa that is gorgeous, your doing a great job already, can't wait to see it finished!!

09-14-2011, 05:35 PM

Acrylic, gel medium and lock washers on 12" vinyl record.

Still trying to figure out where this one wants me to go.

09-14-2011, 05:48 PM
Vibrant Viola looking great, Kat. The "A" string needs a little more tension. :)
Melissa, can't wait to see those dew drops.
I have blank canvas staring at me, waiting to get a color splash of some kind. Have not a clue.
I'll just sit here and see how the acrylic talent's master pieces develop.

09-15-2011, 06:27 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Sep-2011/973572-Irises01.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Sep-2011/973572-Irises02.jpg

Got a bit more done today! Hoping to finish it tomorrow! Have to be in bed at a normal hour tomorrow, as I work Friday-Sunday. :lol: I'm impatient to have it all done so I can see if I like how the upper petals sit and contrast. I'm forcing myself to wait until I have the color filled in on the bottom half, though!

Night friends! :wave:

09-15-2011, 09:22 AM
Cpt, Great work on this vinyl! Love the addition of the washers!
Eric, thanks, yup Need to thin out that string and hopefully it will straighten out! thanks!
Melissa, really looks great, love these soft colors!!

09-15-2011, 12:28 PM
Melissa - Do you sleep ?:wink2: I agree with Kathie I love the softness of your colors-- you are doing a wonderful job.
Kathie-- I really love your violin-- the texture and grains of the wood, awesome.
Cpt. I would of never thought of painting on vinyl but your work is striking--especially love the use of the values of blue.
Thumbs up everyone :thumbsup:

09-15-2011, 01:15 PM
Rarely. Haha.... My friend had a personal emergency... Needed to talk it out and I stayed up on Skype and helped her talk it out. Up til 3 am and up at 8 to watch my niece. Its going to be a long day. : lol:

09-15-2011, 07:14 PM
I hope everything worked out ... Melissa-- Looking forward to seeing more of your painting. Are you using lots of glazes in your painting ? I was wondering if that is how your colors are looking so soft and transparent ?

09-15-2011, 08:28 PM
Yes, Hap, I just learned how to glaze. I hadn't been able to play with it before. So, it's been a lot of fun! Not every petal was glazed, but a good majority have soft ivory or light blue, even very soft green glazes.

09-15-2011, 09:27 PM
Hap, THANKS soo much, the grain is a challenge but its coming along slowly, little bit at a time.
Melissa, hope your friend is better! I kinda taught myself to do glazing without realizing it.. I just paint thinly and keep adding layers and layers. till I get the look I want. it is fun!
Keep up the great work all.... HAPPY PAINTING... now back to easel.. didnt get much done last nite.

09-16-2011, 03:51 AM
update after late nite working on the strings. still see alot need to fix yet, and not done with the body colors yet.


09-18-2011, 02:19 PM
yeah alot of missing post here too from yesterday.. sigh.

09-18-2011, 07:01 PM
Update on my Guitar...
did a little on the white and grays last night and started on the rose.. stopped for dinner.


Marty Shay
09-18-2011, 10:21 PM
I'm glad I wasn't losing my mind, Kathie, I've looked and looked for the violin I saw on FB and finally found it here--I really want to see it close up. Hope WC gets things fixed soon.
This is beautiful, I love the richness of the wood and the detail is wonderful.

09-19-2011, 03:08 AM
at a stopping point for the nite..
done with the rose accept for fixing the highlights, remake the stem and the leaves.. the guitar still needs alot of work.

09-19-2011, 03:22 AM
It is so beautiful already Kathie! That rose is something I would take on all by itself! The guitar is a whole 'nother challenge! I'm loving it already! :)

09-19-2011, 03:56 AM
Here is a piece I'm currently working on. Found the subject in a local newspaper. I've still got tons of work to do but so far I'm happy.

Charlie's Mum
09-19-2011, 06:53 AM
I've posted a sticky thread about the missing posts and threads from 17th :rolleyes:

Kathie - love that guitar pic - even unfinished:)

Andrea - beautiful textures already - promises to be excellent!
Take a second look at the base of the bucket though - it needs a little more ground space to sit properly :)

09-19-2011, 08:43 AM
THANK YOU Melissa and Maureen!
Hi AndreZA, this is great, Love the stonework! Great colors.

09-20-2011, 01:23 AM
Update on my Guitar. still need to fix the strings, neck and body of the guitar, leaves and stem..yet.. but happy now with the rose.
coming along slowly!
sorry blurry photo with glare on right side.


09-20-2011, 01:29 AM
Kathie your guitar is looking AWESOME ! And of course you know I loved the violin. :clap:

Andrea-- You are off to a VERY good start.:clap:

Looking forward to seeing them all completed.

09-20-2011, 01:44 AM
THANKS Hap, not sure if your comment on my violin was in the post that disappeared, I reposted it today. but thanks again!! :)

09-20-2011, 01:52 AM
Kat- that guitar is awesome! What are the dimensions?

09-20-2011, 08:34 AM
Thanks cpt!! Its a 16x20 and painted on sides like the violin!:D

09-21-2011, 05:33 AM
Having finished my kitty from the Different Strokes challenge and going slow as molasses on my other Aussie memorial portrait I started another one. It's A4/21x30cm on canvas pad. I'm debating if he needs to have the visible bit of his fluffy bum painted out - original pic was taken on a slight angle with it but I'm not sure if it adds or detracts to the overall balance composition-wise.

Kathie your guitar is just fabulous... zomg the transitions on that white are so smooth and the neck bit texture is yummmm... you have an absolute talent with instruments!
Melissa the flowers are fabulous, I find petals so hard to get even with glazing and you've got beautiful luminousity!
AndreZA - what a fascinating picture... the textures and expression are very grabbing and make me wonder what the story behind it was.
Cpt.Torpor - I love it! You come up with the best stuff, the colours and effect work beautifully. :)

09-21-2011, 07:11 AM
I started this one today.... Got a bit done on it. But, still so far to go... I have some fixing of the water to do around the right side... but I think I'm fairly pleased with the reflection of the boat. The tree will be an attempt at a willow tree. And the clouds need to be worked on a bit. I tried putting a little more color on those blank areas, and it lifted everything I had just done.


Charlie's Mum
09-21-2011, 08:30 AM
WYSI - I'd keep that bottom in! ... otherwise your canvas will be split into two distinct parts by a vertical line.

Melissa - the pic looks a bit dark - photo prob?
I know you're happy with the reflection but is the boat big enough to hold the two people? :)
If you need help with the sky, Elaine ran a Classroom thread on skies - check the Classroom Index in the Information Kiosk :D

09-21-2011, 07:24 PM
WYSIWYG, Thank you very much, its coming along slowly, alot to do yet. Your Aussie is adorable, I'd leave in the bum too, give it a more full body look,looks great!!.
Melissa, Looking great!! Can't wait to see the boat and figures done! Skies aren't my best subject. Good luck, Elaine is great with clouds!

09-21-2011, 09:06 PM
Melissa I think you are off to a very good start. I have to agree with Charlie's Mum when I first looked at your pic-- I thought the boat looked a bit small for the people. But, I just know you will pull the whole painting together and it will be beautiful when it is completed. :thumbsup:

WYSIWYG-- I love your Aussie--they are such a beautiful breed :clap:

09-21-2011, 09:44 PM
Just depth perception issues, I think. As I have yet to to work on it, it just appears flat and short instead of like it recedes behind the couple, as it should and hopefully will soon! I haven't managed to touch the boat yet. I didn't want to get it perfect and then ruin it with the blue! I have a few reference shots and it is just because it's from the front side. It does look small. But, it's the angle and there is no shadow or anything on it right now. I will try to get a better shot of it! I took it last night on my way to bed. Sorry about the lighting! If it ends up looking too small still once I add some color and depth, I'll work on making it bigger. I've had it in my mind since my little brother got married in August. So, about time I put it on canvas. I need to finish my irises, though, as well! Thanks guys!

09-21-2011, 09:45 PM
And Kathie, thanks for the tip about Elaine's work! I'll look into a few of her threads tonight and study them!! I've just been trying to teach myself everything about everything. It's proving to be difficult! Fun... but difficult. :lol:

09-22-2011, 04:08 AM
Update on my guitar, thinking of a title.. possibly "The King Has Left" or The King is gone, any other suggestions??
The King has left the building.. is a little too long for a title.

decided to use iridescent white and silver on the metallic plate, I think it looks good but once varnished I doubt anyone will notice its iridescent.
still have alot to do on the bars under the strings, and metal screwheads, strings, leaves and rose stem!
But I'm pleased with it so far.

09-23-2011, 11:27 AM
Melissa, I like your start... water and sky have to be two of the more challenging things to paint, so I admire anyone who can!

Kathie I'm just going to continue being in awe of those whites on the body and 'plate'. (Sorry if that's not the technical term! :o ) It's fantastic, looks so real I'm tempted to reach out and touch it.

Here's the second layer on Magnum - starting to look a bit more like an Aussie even if he's still in his fugly and flat stage. Don't worry, he'll get his copper bits... and colour... and depth... and tones... and proper eyes... and his whispy bits over the next six or seven layers. :D

Good point to everyone about not chopping the canvas in half. I was just worried everyone wouldn't realize it was his bumfluff and wonder why I stuck a random grey blob there. :o

09-23-2011, 11:44 AM
Amanda, Thank you!! Magnum is realy coming to life.. what great expression you have already!! He's going to be gorgeous!!

Jazz Bags
09-23-2011, 12:32 PM
I am new to Wet Canvas, and What's on your easel, and apparently cannot upload an image yet, but I think the work I see here is just amazing. Makes me want to put another canvas on the easel, and get painting.

Jazz Bags
09-23-2011, 01:33 PM
Holly Molly, I have been trying to upload a pix to whats on your easel, and I'm having a heck of a time. Hopefully it will work this time.........the image is of a painting I just finished and I call it "Old Crow" for want of a better name. It is a acrylic on canvas. Gez, I'm beginning to think I'm computer stupid.


Charlie's Mum
09-23-2011, 01:43 PM
Jazz- welcome!
The conditions WC! imposes are that you make two posts before being able to upload - so that's probably all that was wrong!

Super painting this crow - glad to have you here!

Jazz Bags
09-23-2011, 01:52 PM
Thank you, and glad to be here

09-23-2011, 02:14 PM
Hi Jazz, welcome!!
I Love your Old Crow!! Great colors!! HAPPY PAINTING!!

Working on the strings now..thought the 4 on the violin were bad.. this one has 6!! Gettin there slowly!

09-23-2011, 04:36 PM
Welcome Jazz, your Old Crow is great. Good work.

09-23-2011, 04:40 PM
Wowsers, such awesome stuff you guys have going on! Kathie the guitar and violin are so wonderful! and WYSIWYG, your dog is just terriffic! andraZA, great start, Jazz, welcome. I'm dashing off for work now, but have 5 min will see if I can load a pic.

These sunflowers are from a photo I took while I was in Italy. There are some work in progress shots on my blog. This is Atelier Interactive acrylics on canvas, 18x24

09-23-2011, 08:13 PM
Some great work going on around here.:thumbsup:

Don't ya just love the bright sunflowers Mary? Love your painting too.

09-23-2011, 10:03 PM
THANKS Don, Mary and Patti!!
Mary, I just LOVE your sunflowers.. great colors and lightiing.. great sky too!!
very well done!!

09-24-2011, 12:19 AM
Update, started working on the leaves.. about finished with the strings and neck struts. but see I need to do alot of touch ups there yet. Have yet to repaint in the stem..Hopefully tomorrow it will be done and this the last update!

Jazz Bags
09-24-2011, 12:28 AM
Thanks OkeeKat, I see that you also like to paint animals, you gotta love those little critters. Don't know what I would do without mine.

Jazz Bags
09-24-2011, 12:29 AM
By the way, can anyone tell me how to upload photos on my profile?? Any help would be appreciated.

09-24-2011, 01:33 AM
I think you have to wait to become a member. It will happen soon! :)

09-24-2011, 03:13 AM
Thanks everyone for the comments on my sunflowers; I do like them! (In fact I even wrote a lens highlighting home & garden decor with sunflowers!) The lighting was just luck, coming around the corner at just the right moment. I am really pleased with the way the sky & clouds came out; sometimes my clouds look 'pasted' on, so I'm way happy with these.

Wow Kathie the rose and guitar are really coming out amazing.

09-24-2011, 10:08 AM
By the way, can anyone tell me how to upload photos on my profile?? Any help would be appreciated.
If you mean an avatar (photo beside your name) try this link

Maybe that will help.

09-24-2011, 11:08 AM
Still not familiar with acrylics but I'm giving this a try by building up some layers. It's on a wood panel coated with some kind of sealer that I found out in the shed in a rusty old can. Just experimenting here...nothing fancy.


09-24-2011, 03:21 PM
Thank you Jazz and Mary! Its about done!
Kevin, our test looks neat, love the woodwork and skull/rocks.
you can easily gesso any wood surface after sealing with light sanding inbetween layers for a better support. I love painting on gessoed Masonite!

09-24-2011, 11:13 PM
Hey All, ANY SUGGESTIONS??? for a title for my guitar??

09-25-2011, 01:11 PM
I'd name it American Beauty, OkeeKat... sure is an excellent and beautiful piece of work. Amazing to say the least!
...got a little further with this today. I guess I'll keep at it and see if I can bring it out more before the end of the month. I do have a container of gesso here that cost me about sixty bucks and I'm trying to save most of that for when I'm a little more advanced at this stuff. Hate to waste it on potentially abandoned projects. ;)


09-25-2011, 07:43 PM
Kathie your guitar with rose painting is just fabulous, technique and style and image are just brilliant! C'est trŤs magnifique!!
Title could be something like: "Guitar King" or "Guitar Man" or "The King Never Dies" or "Gently Weeps for the King" or "Missing the King"

09-27-2011, 01:19 AM
Kat: I like "Rock 'n Rose" was mentioned earlier or "Rhythm 'n Rose"

09-27-2011, 04:05 AM
Kathie, I like the "American Beauty" suggestion as well or the Rhythm and Rose ones. :) It's absolutely magnificent!
Kevin, welcome to the addiction that is acrylics! :)
Jazz WELCOME! Wow, that is fantastic! Beautiful job!
Mary, I am loving all these sunflowers. There is just no way you can look at a sunflower and not feel happy I think - one of my two favorite flowers. :)

As for me, I'm pinching time in minute snippets with little people on school holidays atm! So everything is at the rough stage still and progressing slowly!
Magnum gets his first (DARK!) layer on his copper bits. (Don't worry, he's still no where near done... wouldn't leave the poor lad so ugly. :lol: )
Very early start of a chook for the miniature forums challenge... totally goofing around. Put it up mainly because I thought the background effect was kinda neat and will end up mostly gone once I paint it.
And I roughed in Violet and Poppy, two buns which are at my local house-rabbit shelter. The whole thing is super-wonky even for a basic rough-in. :/ Needs background colours, lighting, values, shape etc reworked or scrapped.

09-27-2011, 06:05 AM
Hi everyone! :) I was wondering if I could come play too, in this thread?
The thing is I am trying to learn how to paint so I have started on doing the Charles Sovek exercises (from the book Oil Painting: Develop Your Natural Ability). Some time ago "margueritec" started a thread in the Oil Painting forum http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=930210 where people can join in to do these exercises together. Anyone working in an opaque medium can join. So I have been posting my sketches and comments to the exercises over there. That's fine, the oil painters are a nice bunch! and I will continue to post in the thread.
It's just that, using acrylics, I would ofcourse like to hang out in the acrylics forum too and maybe get some good advice along the way. So I was wondering if maybe I could post in this thread, since thatís what I have on my easel so to speak. On the other hand I totally understand if those sketches donít belong here, where everyone is painting whole paintings. Could you assist me where I should post?

If I should post the exercises here, I would like to know how much text I should include. Posting all the text to each exercise I have posted in the Sovek thread would seem way to much. Could you give me some pointers on how to do it in a good way? Thanks. :wave:

09-27-2011, 08:50 AM
THANK YOU Kevin, Aari and Eric for your suggestions, will remember those.
Amanda, your Magnum is looking good!! Love the bg on the cock and the bunnies.. they look good already, your off to a great start!

Claudia, feel free to post a painting you are working on for help here, Those exercises are interesting you did great work. This thread is for anyone working on any painting to share what they are doing and of course ask for any help or suggestions or just to share it. So your welcome to share your work in progress here.

09-27-2011, 05:01 PM
Thanks Okeekat. :clap:

To introduce myself just a little bit and explain why I do these sketches instead of whole paintings:

A couple of years ago I got the crazy idea that I want to learn how to paint.:confused:
I havenít done any painting in all that time, I think I was scared to find out I would suck at painting because I have no creative background what so ever. The mere thought of starting on a painting when you donít know what you are doing, is really scary and made me put if off. All I have done for 2 years is watch a few videos like on youtube and read a book on painting + read, read and read some more here on Wetcanvas (mostly). And I have learned so much already, I feel, from the wealth of information that can be found in these forums. :heart: I have learned many of the terms that are used in painting and what they mean, a lot about pigments and stuff (I used the Dick Blick website a lot for colour references with their paint swatches). And I have researched the paint and colours I want to use, made 288 paint swatches in a chart :eek: and made a few colour wheels. But I havenít painted, untill just this month where I am trying to learn how to paint for the first time by following the Charles Sovek exercises http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=930210&page=4 (from his book Oil Painting: Develop Your Natural Ability) which I hope will teach me the basics to get me started on painting. Iíll post my first 3 exercises I did.

Exercise 1: Massing-in the shape of the objects by starting with the innermost part of the form and pushing the paint outward toward the edges. Sketching with a pencil before hand is not allowed.
On acrylic paper 25 x 35 cm.
I have written a description about the process and my experiences doing the sketch in the Charles Sovek thread/link mentioned above if anybody would like to see how it went. This is to not flood this thread with the same text.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2011/223437-Pic_Ex_1_a.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2011/223437-Pic_Ex_1_b.JPG

Exercise 2: In the exercise the point is to paint all the parts closest to you the lightest colour and to paint everything further away progressively darker. No pencil sketching. No light/shadow or realistic painting that would aid in the visual understanding of the objects are allowed. Painting from light to dark colour.

My goodness! This exercise was sheduled to take 1,5 hours. I lost track somewhere along the way, but I know it took me more than 3 hours! :eek:
On acrylic paper 25 x 35 cm.
I have written a description about the process and my experiences doing the sketch in the Charles Sovek thread http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=930210&page=4 if anybody would like to see how this went. Again this is to not flood this thread with the same text.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2011/223437-Pic_Ex_2_a.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2011/223437-Pic_Ex_2_b.JPG

Exercise 3: The objective of this exercise is in fact the same as in Ex. 2 Ė painting the parts of the object that physically are closest to you in the lightest colour and painting everything further away progressively darker. Only, this time you are supposed to paint each object from a different direction, as if you are looking at it from that direction, while you are in fact still sitting at the same position when painting all of them. Does this make sense? As always, no pencil sketch, no details nor highlights/shadows are to be painted.
The apple is painted from the angle of grey line, but from the top down.
This exercise was sheduled to take 1,5 hours. I took aprx. 2,5 hours to do it, tss.:o
On acrylic paper 25 x 35 cm.
I have written a description about the process and my experiences doing the sketch in the Charles Sovek thread http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=930210&page=4 if anybody would like to see how it went. This is to not flood this thread with the same text.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2011/223437-Pic_Ex_3_a.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2011/223437-Pic_Ex_3_b.JPG

Any C&C is most welcome - I want to learn as much as I can.:cat:


09-27-2011, 05:22 PM
Very early start of a chook for the miniature forums challenge... totally goofing around. Put it up mainly because I thought the background effect was kinda neat and will end up mostly gone once I paint it.

I just love the way your chook looks. It's an amazing effect you have achieved to this painting. I know you say it is because it's not finished, but I would really make a big version of it too and keep it pretty much as is. That would make a great piece I think. Just a thought :)
I love Australian Shepherds :heart:

09-27-2011, 08:33 PM
YEs I saw those exercises in the Link before CLaudia are you going to finish then into paintings from here or what are you working on now, very interesting subjects you have there!

09-28-2011, 05:12 AM
The exercises I posted are finished as they are, they are not supposed to be made into paintings. The exercises are building on each other, so that slowly we are getting introduced into the different concepts of painting.
So probably I will, at some point, be making "baby step"-paintings in the lessons.

At the moment, just starting, I am working on exercise 4 which is about various changes of the local colour (home value, as he calls it) within different objects in a setup. On a 5-tone value scale from black/umber to white.
In the photo the hat has a light home value, the bag aprox. a medium home value and the bike lamp being the darkest value (black/burnt umber). I have just finished massing in the objects with a medium colour value. Took me 1 hour :o :lol: I said I was slow - well, very slow. :D Next is to paint each object according to their home value making the value gradations lightest/close -> darker/further away, on each object.
Looks like painting straight line objects is easier than dented/uneven ones, because the hat was very difficult to get right for me.
Here is the setup and what I have done so far:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Sep-2011/223437-Pic_Ex_4_a.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Sep-2011/223437-Pic_Ex_4_b.JPG

09-28-2011, 11:14 AM
Claudia, welcome! You sound like me - always wanted to learn but too scared to just jump in, so I kept telling myself "one day I will take a proper course and learn!" Well 6 years later I was still saying that so I started teaching myself draw/sketching last November and acrylics at the start of 2011 off of WC. My understanding of anatomy/structure lets me squeak by with animals but my lack of skills show if I try anything else. (Especially more painterly, expressionistic, impressionistic styles which I love!) I think I may have to see if the library has that book you mention! :)

More pinched minutes...

Sorry, pic is a bit blurry! Magnum got some more copper, noticed his blackish bits were disappearing, punched them back up and whoops... too much!!! I'll beat that back and give him back his silver left cheek fluff tomorrow. :o Plus highlights. ;p Jaw/muzzle/cheeks needs a lot more definition.
Also pondering background... I think some shadow-n-light work with various glazes are in order as he looks pretty darn flat to the background.

The old red hen got her second layer. (Many more to come! LOL) Now you see why showed the background before it disappeared as I'd intended her to be more realistic than fantasy! Oh well, it can be done again for something else! :lol:

09-28-2011, 04:23 PM
Amanda, you are certainly off to a great start, with the way you are able to paint animals already, in such a short time! :thumbsup:

I have my library book on a second loan already, but I have ordered a used copy of the book in the US, through Alibris. 34,11 US$ incl. overseas shipping/handling, with a voucher I found on the internet. That's not too bad a deal. It's supposed to be in "very good" condition, didn't want to risk getting a book where a lot of text was underlined, other wise I would have also been happy with a "good" one. :D

Charlie's Mum
09-28-2011, 05:20 PM
Claudia, just want to say welcome to the forum and add that you're already showing an excellent understanding of the lessons - as well as the handling of the medium!
You seem to have a good eye for observing the shape of objects and their relative sizes -it takes some people a long time to see that!

It would do you no harm to try a painting away from the lessons to see how you have absorbed the knowledge and how to put it into practice :D

Amanda - I loved that first version of the hen! Nice effects :D

09-28-2011, 07:06 PM
Amanda, Both are looking great!! Can't wait to see the finish.. I posted my little cats eye I finaly finished in Diff strokes!
Claudia, Yes would be great to see you attempt somethng else, practice is how we learn too, I'm still learning, with each painting. take a small subject like an apple or pear and try to paint that.. I'm sure after these lessons you'll do well with the color tones. Good luck!!

09-28-2011, 07:53 PM
Been unusually busy simply trying to create a new body of work in hopes (as always) that I am able to strike a chord. Here is the latest miniature paintings that are on the bench. The LaSalle is painted on a plate of titanium and the Ford Fairlane is on a standard single edge razor blade. Both are painted with Createx Wicked paint, Winsor Newton Series 7 watercolor brush and a Richpen airbrush. Thanks for taking a look!

09-28-2011, 07:56 PM
Hi Steven, welcome, these are awesome painting, very realistic!!
The red one looks like a photograph, excellent work!

09-29-2011, 03:11 AM
Claudia, just want to say welcome to the forum and add that you're already showing an excellent understanding of the lessons - as well as the handling of the medium!
You seem to have a good eye for observing the shape of objects and their relative sizes -it takes some people a long time to see that!

It would do you no harm to try a painting away from the lessons to see how you have absorbed the knowledge and how to put it into practice :D
Thank you! :)
And I will, soon. :D

09-30-2011, 05:33 AM
I was just wondering when is the deadline for these "What's on your easel" threads?

Charlie's Mum
09-30-2011, 06:24 PM
Steven - welcome! These are amazingly fine and detailed minis - hope they're sucessful!

Claudia - the threads are currently monthly - a new one will open tomorrow but is really a continuation of the previous WOYE thread:D

09-30-2011, 07:24 PM
Ok, this is the finished sketch of my setup which I posted above.
Whew, this one was...well, looong. :lol:

Exercise 4: Indicating the various changes of home value (local colour) within different objects in a setup. Using values on a 5-tone value scale from black/burnt umber --> white.
In the photo the hat has a light home value, the bag aprox. a medium home value and the bike lamp being the darkest value (black/burnt umber). Paint each object according to their home value, making the value gradations lightest/close -->darker/further away, on each object. As always, no pencil sketch, no details nor highlights/shadows are to be painted. Starting by massing in all objects, working from the inside and out, in a medium value.
Painted on acrylic paper 25 x 35 cm like the previous ones. This exercise was sheduled to take 2,5 hours. I have written a description about the process and my experiences doing the sketch in the Sovek thread, if you want to know how this went. Whew, just managed to post before the deadline :wink2: Good night every one.


10-01-2011, 07:02 AM
Coming along nicely there Claudia!
Hi Steven... WOW!!! Those are astonishing, especially given their itty bitty size. I *love* it! Yum!
Didn't do much today, kids keeping everything too chaotic! So all I did was change the background which was way too flat. I'm trying to give it more depth and dimension. Still need to give the poor dog bones in his cheeks and muzzle. ;p