Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I don't always mention it in my blog posts, but these watercolor on Yupo paintings are my "Paintings with Petzazz". A term I coined when I needed a catchier description than "interpretive style".
Yupo is a synthetic paper made of polypropylene. The slick, bright white surface allows the paint to flow and blend differently than on traditional watercolor paper and because the paint/water doesn't soak into the paper, the colors remain vibrant. Interesting watermarks, swirls and blobs are also part of the Yupo effect. Lifting paint off is very easy - all it takes is a damp brush. Corrections are difficult though, as an obvious harsh edge is left where the paint has been moved around. It takes some planning and knowledge of how different paint colors work together, but I like the spontaneity of the process - a lot of it is pushing paint around and then letting it decide what it wants to do. Yupo is a very interesting surface and I really enjoy working with it. You can read more about Paintings with Petzazz on this page of my web site.
It's always a challenge to capture the vibrancy of the paint in the scans of the finished work. These two were especially difficult, I just couldn't get the green backgrounds to look as brilliant as the originals, but this is pretty close.
Bruno, 8" x 8"
Floyd, 8" x 8"
These two dogs belong to the same family. In discussion with my clients, we decided that having two separate paintings was best. I generally use dark blues and/or purples for dark colored dogs, so that was an easy choice for Bruno, the pit bull mix. Since both portraits would be hanging together, lavender/light purple made the most sense for Floyd, the Weimaraner. My clients chose green for the background. They liked the green in this painting I did of my dog Patch.
These are the reference photos I took of each dog:
You'll notice that I used a bit of artistic license on Floyd's portrait - his poor eye was infected and squinty when I took the photos of him.
As I always do when I have the opportunity to take my own reference photos, I took many digital photos of each dog, then chose 3 or 4 (of each) that I liked best. Then I asked my clients to chose their favorite photo of each dog from my choices. This process works very well, since I select photos that I know will work for the portrait and the client chooses the photo that best captures their pet.
I can (and do) work from client-supplied photos, but whenever possible, I take my own. This allows me to get to know the pet, see their personality for myself and to have an assortment of photos that have the detail I want/need for the portrait.