"A love for God's creations is the stimulus that keeps me painting; and the beauty surrounding us is the inspiration for most of my work."
Sheryl is a wildlife and nature artist, working mostly with acrylics, charcoal and pastels. She lives in British Columbia, Canada.
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Wildlife Pet Portraits Land & Sea
Still Life Miniatures
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I have been asked a few times lately to do a painting (WIP) post and, so, here it is. This painting is not for sale. It was sold before I started. It is a commission from a long term, regular customer who has a cottage near the White Wolf Sanctuary in Oregon and has permission from the owner to use one of her photos for this painting. If you have photos that are your own or you have written permission to use, I will be happy to paint them for you. Contact me via email through the "About Me" section in the right column. Most of the work I do is commission work, usually pet portraits. That is why you don't see a lot of my artwork for sale.
The first thing I do is sketch various poses, either on paper or the computer, moving objects around and so forth. (I am not going into the principles of design in this post.) This pose was sent to me as the one they wanted to use with a few requested changes. I made a few changes as I painted, as well. I had to change the prospective of the table for various reasons, and did so several times, but that's how the creative process works. A painting rarely ever looks exactly like the photo, except for the occasional, very up-close pet portraits. I am not going to now, and never do, show the original reference photos with the painting for comparison. When I am painting for myself I often use a lot of photos together to come up with what I think will be a good painting. Sometimes the animals in them are a conglomeration of a few different ones.
A painting takes time and usually a great deal of thought and focus. It is not simply a matter of picking up a brush and just painting. By the time I start putting the paint onto the canvas half the work is already done. Few people realize how much work goes into a painting and how much of it is practice and learning. If someone asks me what is the most important thing they can do to develop their artwork, I always tell them to practice, practice, practice. Sketch details constantly all the time, everywhere you go. Paint eyes, noses and tree trunks until you can do them in your sleep. Get books from the library and study perspective and design principles, then practice what you read.
To transfer this sketch to the canvas I drew it freehand it using a grid and charcoal. (Is it really freehand if you use a grid?) I put a grid on the original reference photo on the computer. These days I paint directly from my tablet computer. I like being able to zoom in on some of the details.
Here I am using a large brush to fill in the background shading and basic colours. It is very important to watch the direction of the brush strokes, even at this initial stage.
Now I switch to a medium sized brush to put in the basic fur texture.
After filling in the detail, I sit back and add some highlights, shadows and more colour to the entire painting. It was necessary to highlight and lighten some of the background after adding the finished wolf.
Posted by Providence Acres Farm at 5:40 AM