Pet Commissions

Tulie (my rescue dog)

Prints and more available at my online store.

If you’re looking for a unique gift for that special someone, occasion, (or even for yourself!), consider having a commission painted of your favorite pet in watercolor.  I work closely with you, meet the pet if possible, and work from your closeup photos.  All along the way, I will send you update shots and get your thoughts on background.  Your satisfaction is guaranteed; if you don’t love the painting, your deposit will be refunded.  I want you to love the painting that’s on your wall.

shiloh_1114_rachel-Murphree_watercolor

Shiloh (commission)  Prints and more available at my online store

Paintings are matted and framed and delivered.  11″ x 14″ paintings are framed to 16″ x 20″ and are $325.  References provided upon request.

charley_finished_murphree

Charley (commission)  Prints and more available at my online store

 

Finished! Here’s Shiloh….

shiloh_rachel_murphree_watercolor

I took the painting down to Shiloh’s folks and they loved it so now I’ll get it framed and take it down to them. We are using a white on white mat to pull out the white of his fur with a dark frame.  I am thrilled they are so happy with him!

And now while I’m in the dog painting mode, I’m starting work on a painting for my sister in law of her sweet golden retriever Murphy who is no longer with us.  here’s the initial sketch of him:

murphy sketch (2).jpg

In related news I have the opportunity of putting pet paintings down at the Crossroads Animal Hospital which I’m very excited about.  I’ll frame prints of Tulie (below) and Shiloh and perhaps some others and include information on doing commissions and how to get in touch with me.  I am quite thankful for this opportunity.

Here's Lookin at You

Here’s Lookin at you. 16 x 20 framed $225

That’s it for now!  more soon as I intend on blogging daily in March.

Where Shiloh stands now

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I am enjoying the challenge of capturing Shiloh in watercolor.  I’m at the stage now where I want to lay in a varied color background probably in blues and browns that will capture the shaggy white edges around his ears and shoulder fur.  I also have to decide what side to shade his face.  I’m thinking on the right side as we are looking at him.

Since putting in the background would involve uninterrupted time and attention to get the edges just right and keep all the pigment  flowing without sharp edges, I’m going to work on that tomorrow.  The kids are almost home now and even though they are teenagers, uninterrupted time is hard to find!

Here are previous posts in this process:
https://rachelm.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/shiloh-early-stages/
https://rachelm.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/shiloh-in-progress/ (first attempt)
https://rachelm.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/shiloh-study-day-24/ (wild study)
https://rachelm.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/shilohs-eye-study-day-22/

As always, thanks for stopping by and letting me know your thoughts!

Shiloh early stages

Here is where the Shiloh commission painting stands now.  I will be working on it further this weekend. Once the area around his right eye has more done, I think it will be well along.  

Here’s the board I have handy to work from. The top photo is the principal one, the black and white next to it shows me the values. The bottom right photo shows his ears, the dreadlocks, that I am incorporating. And the bottom left is the initial practice painting. 

I got lost in keeping some of the white areas of his fur, and with watercolor keeping the white paper is imperative. So on the current painting I have a tiny white x  in each area to remind me to keep them white. 

Here are earlier stages of the painting. 

Shiloh in progress

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Here’s where it’s at with earlier shots, and I’m not happy with the eyes, especially the left one and know that I need to save more whites in his fur.  With this one I tried painting wet onto dry paper and have some fur like edges in places, giving myself a map to follow as you can see from the first step below.

shiloh-wip-2

And below is stage 2.  I have to admit even though I’m not happy with the outcome, I am having fun with the process and rethinking my procedures.  Happy with the colors on the whole too which is nice.  I’m doing this on strathmore aquarius and it is a very soft paper and I think I’m going to switch to arches or saunders waterford.

shiloh-wip-3

You can see earlier blog postings in the journey of painting Shiloh.  Here’s where I painted in bed without a pencil sketch and here’s an eye study.

Now that the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge is over, I’ve been painting plein air, taking a painting class, and working on the Shiloh commission.  I just haven’t been blogging about it.  But I will catch up on that. I promise!

 

Thanks for stopping by!  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Shiloh study day 24

Today was a hectic day, and as I was laying down relaxing after dinner I realized I hadn’t painted yet today. Yikes!  After over three weeks I had developed a habit! Imagine that. 

And American Experience Rachel Carson came on on PBS and I really had to see it right then.   What to do? 

I ended up painting in bed while really just listening and looking up occasionally. 


As you can see from the photo I am working from a black and white image, playing with color.  His nose ran more than I expected and the paint doesn’t lift up well to fix it, so it is twisted weird. Other than that I think it is a fun study.  The actual commission will be much more realistic in colors but I was considering concentrating on dark and light values tonight. 

I have to think more on the colors I will use and techniques for feathered fur. I may try rough paper for this which I haven’t used as much. That texture would help the brush skip across the paper helping the feathery effect. 

It is the first time I have painted in bed on a large plexiglass piece and thankfully no accidents occurred although our little dog tried her best by sailing up onto the bed.  Yikes again! 

Thx for stopping by. I would love to hear what you think. 

Shiloh’s eye study — Day 22

Shiloh commission

Shiloh commission reference photo

Photo of Shiloh

The client would like these dreadlock hair on the ears included in the painting

Before Christmas I got a call from a  dog owner who saw my work at an art fair I did and wanted to commission a watercolor of her Australian shepherd.  Isn’t he beautiful??  I just love him.  We met and I got to know this feisty three year old dog. What a love!

The owners are very patient with me because I had this important show deadline (tomorrow!) for which I’m painting, but I feel like that’s in a good place.

WC study

Small study of eye and colors (click to view larger)

detailed line drawing of dog

detailed line drawing

A while ago, I had done a detailed line drawing of the portrait without the ear changes. And today I grabbed a scrap piece of watercolor paper only intending to try out colors, but it morphed into this eye study done without preliminary drawing.

 This is going to be such a fun painting to do. I’ll be working on techniques to get the color blending and the hair texture and keep the white patches… and will probably do a nose study as well…

I’m liking it!  What do you think?

A Christmas Fair: Feliz Navidad y’all!

Good friends of mine are associated with Junior League and their Christmas Fair in early November is their largest fundraiser and a huge draw in the city.  When I was approached to donate artwork to help fund their good works, I was happy to do it.  These are the three I’ve chosen.   I’m in the process of matting and framing them, so the first two are taken without the glass in so there isn’t the glare.mountain_flowers_donation_christmas_fair_rachel_murphree_watercolors

This is called Mountain Flowers and I’ve written about the process of creating it at this blog post if you’d like to take a look.

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I’m calling this one “Commision Study of Charley” and I’ve written about this little pup and the process of doing the commission before.  The commission is finished and owner and Charley are happy!

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The third piece I’m donating is “Fall Hillside” in the muted colors of a late fall day in the mountains.

Christmas Fair  “Feliz Navidad, y’all!” runs the first weekend of November at the El Paso Convention Center. At this point I’m not sure when or how the paintings will be auctioned, but I can find out and let you know.  Drop me an email at rcmurphree@outlook.com if you’d like more information or if you’d like to discuss having a pet portrait done!

Charley finished! — 30 in 30 day 13

charley_finished_rachel_murphree_watercolors

I am very pleased to announce that my first commission, Charley, is finished and the owner loves it!  I asked if I could quote her.  She said “The painting makes my heart smile!”

I am so glad.  Doing the commission was a great and pleasurable learning experience that I would definitely do again. You can see the last post on this commission, and the first post. 

I’ve ordered the matboard for it, she decided on an offwhite and a steel gray blue, and I’ll post a photo when it’s framed.  The painting itself is 13″ by 15″ so I’m thankful I have a mat cutter so I can cut this custom size myself.

I’m counting this as part of the 30 in 30 because we last saw it without a background and I’ve added that this week.  Once again life is busy so I’m not posting every day but I am painting most days, and that’s a habit that I will be happy to continue.  That’s my goal for this month and next…painting most days and posting several times a week.  Wish me luck!

Speaking of goals, I’ve ordered a variety of matboard colors and will soon have prints in standard sizes for sale at the Sunland Art Gallery and later this fall, available online.  Stay tuned!

Dog Days of Summer

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Hello Folks, This is Charley!  He’s my first watercolor commission and I’ve written about making the first study at painting him earlier this summer.  It’s been quite the dog days for me, we’re in triple digits here since what seems like forever.  I’ve had to work on plenty of other obligations and haven’t had much time to paint.  As I was working on painting this sweet dog in the quiet of my house this morning, I realized just how much I’d missed painting (and perhaps that’s why I’ve been a bit crabby lately….I’m just sayin!)

Since the first study, I’ve met Charley and the other pets in his house, I’ve been painting eyes and noses, and then working on several other studies. charley_photo_refHis human sent me some other photos, here’s one which show his colors more clearly than the brightly lit one I was working from. So my sketch was from the earlier photo, but I used the colors from this.   Don’t you just love the eyes of the older sweetie behind him?  I kept getting drawn into the sweet elderly face!

I thought it might be helpful to show you the steps that led up to the current painting.  I’m not sure it’s the final one…we’ll have to see what his humans say, but I can always learn more by painting another one!  To begin with I did some sketching:

and then did studies of eyes and noses:

Don’t the noses look like flying aliens??  they crack me up.

charley_dog_boosted pencil sketch_rachel_murphree

Then I took the image and put it through the “pencil sketch” effect in picasa web and boosted the contrast to get nice dark lines.

I put it on my light table with a piece of 140 lb Arches paper on topcharley dog on lightbox_rachel_murphree and the dark lines showed through.

You can see it here but the lines weren’t quite that dark, I enhanced the charley after light table_rachel_murphreecontrast so you could see them.  It turns out that i didn’t need all those extra lines of the hair, because that’s more naturally done by just playing with the paint.  in future tracings I only did the nose eyes and mouth.

In researching how to do the painting,  I watched two watercolor technique videos which were very helpful:  Watercolor Secrets: Realistic Pets with Carrie Stuart Parks and Jake Winkle’s Going Wild in Watercolor.  Of the two, I find Jake’s style bold and invigorating and that showed in the first study, but I like the more realistic view with techniques taught by Carrie.

charley_in process_rachel_murphree_watercolorsSo here’s an in process stage where I had wet the right side cautiously over top of the underpainting soft colors with no hard edges,  and added extra color and fur brush strokes.  After this I did the same on the left side and then started adjusting details and adding whiskers.

So that’s what I’ve been doing in the dog days of summer.  How about you?  What have you been up to?  Have you painted dogs? if so, what tips can you share?

Thanks for stopping by.  I’ll let you know what Charley’s humans have to say…