Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pet Portrait Process

Say THAT three times fast! (pet portrait process, pet portrait process,...) I recently finished a pet portrait for a woman, Heidi, who is giving the painting to her husband, Tolis for Christmas. The subject of the painting is their beloved dog Spotty, who unfortunately has passed on. Since I am currently taking commissions for the holidays, I thought I'd take a moment to share with you the process involved in creating a custom pet portrait.

First, Heidi came to me and said that she was thinking of having a portrait of Spotty done. She wanted it based on the first photo she ever took of him, and she thought that a portrait of him would be a nice way for her and Tolis to remember him. This is the original photo she showed me.
Heidi and I discussed what she liked about the photo and how she wanted Spotty represented in the portrait. We also talked about whether or not she wanted a detailed background or a non-detailed background. Next we discussed canvas sizes and pricing. Once Heidi was satisfied with how Spotty was to be depicted, I drew up a contract to be sure she got exactly what she wanted. Heidi gave me a half-down deposit, and I happliy began painting Spotty's portrait. In addition to painting the front of the canvas, I also painted all four sides of the canvas. This way the painting was ready for immediate frame-free hanging. Once I finished, I emailed Heidi with a photo of the finished product to guarantee her satisfaction.

I assumed that she was satisfied when she replied, "Omg! Tears in my eyes! It's beautiful!! It looks JUST like him!" Heidi then sent me the balance payment and I sent her the painting of her immortalized Spotty.

If you're interested in a custom pet portrait or other fine art, please feel free to contact me. I would be honored to paint a subject that is close to your heart.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Upcoming Events!

**Mutt Strutt has been postponed until Nov. 1 due to Hurricane Hanna**

Allover Art has a lot of fun events coming up! I've added a new section to the right side titled "Upcoming Events." The next event I will be at is next Saturday, September 6th, from 9am-12pm at Wake County Historic Oak View Park. The event is called the Mutt Strutt Dog Walk. There is a one-mile dog-walking path, dozens of exhibitors and vendors (like yours truly), raffles, contests, demonstrations, and some adorable adoptable dogs! Rabies vaccinations and microchips will be offered as well. Here's the schedule of events, courtesy of the Mutt Strutt website.

Schedule of Events

9 a.m. Welcome Address and event kickoff
9 to 9:30 a.m. Flyball Demonstration courtesy of Doggonefast Flyball Club
9:30 to 10 a.m. Agility Demonstration courtesy of Top Dog Academy
10 to 10:30 a.m. Freestyle Demonstration courtesy of Teamworks Dog Training
11 to 11:30 a.m. Contests
11:30 a.m. to noon Raffle
All morning, 9 a.m. to noon Rabies Vaccinations ($5)
Microchip Clinics ($10)
Vendor Exhibits

The Mutt Strutt Dog Walk is a kick-off event in support of World Rabies Day, September 28, 2008. It is the Wake County Animal Care, Control & Adoption Center's annual fundraiser. This year, all proceeds will benefit the Center's Animal Foster Program. The program provides temporary homes for dogs and cats that are too young or sick to be adopted. Funds will support the provision of medical care, supplies and food for the foster animals.

I hope to see you out there! :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lazy Daze 2008

This past Saturday Allover Art was at the 32nd Annual Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival in Cary, NC. The weather was fantastic; MUCH cooler than the 100 degrees I hear it was last year. I had to be there bright and early on Saturday morning to finish setting up my booth. Cars were not allowed to enter the festival area after 7am. Can you tell that it's early in the morning?
This painting of the cat playing with his toy was a HUGE hit! I couldn't believe how many people had something to say about it. Literally, every minute of the day someone would point and laugh, or point and say "awww, look." The reaction this painting evoked has prompted me to looking into reproducing some of my art as giclee prints or in some other form. These would be more affordable than the original oil painting. We'll see what comes of my research.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my booth to say 'hello' and take a gander at some of my work. I really appreciate everyone's kind words about my art. It brings me great joy that so many people think that I have a talent for capturing the personalities of the pets and people in my paintings. To all the new people I met this weekend, I really enjoyed meeting you and listening to stories about your pets. I hope to hear from you again soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Top Ten Tips for Taking Great Pet Photos

Although it may seem early, there are many of you that are thinking about gifts for loved ones for the holidays. I'm starting to get more requests for pet portraits, and clients frequently ask what elements should be in the photos they lend me of their pets. To help you take better photos of your pets, I've created the "Top Ten Tips for Taking Great Pet Photos".

1) Have a friend or family member, someone that your pet is comfortable with, help you take the photo. It may help to have someone hold your pet in place or to hold a treat or favorite toy over your head while you take the photo.
2) Get as close as possible to your pet. The more detail you capture the better your picture will be.
3) Make sure that your camera is on the highest quality setting.
4) Only use the flash if absolutely necessary. Just like some people have "red eye" in photos, some pets' eyes will "glow".
5) Pay attention to the lighting around your pet. Avoid taking photos in low light so that you don't have to use the flash.
6) Use a favorite toy, treat, or friend to help your pet look in the direction you want.
7) Take photos from many different angles. Sometimes extreme angles can create more interesting photos. Try shooting from above, below, and all sides of your pet.
8) If your pet is a dog, take him or her out for some exercise before taking the photo. This could get rid of extra energy making him or her more likely to listen to you. Also, sometimes when a dog is panting the corners of his or her mouth turn up creating a "smile".
9) Be sure that your pet is in a comfortable environment. Your pet will be on edge and not show it's true personality if it is unhappy or unsure of its surroundings.
10) Finally, take lots and lots of photos! The more photos you have, the more you have to choose from, therefore allowing for the creation of a pet portrait that really captures the spark of your pet's personality.

Happy picture-taking!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The K9 Circle

Since I specialize in oil paint pet portraits, I've been fortunate enough to be involved with a fantastic group of people who own dog-oriented businesses around the Triangle. The group is called the K9 Circle. As many of you know, Matt and I have a dog, Kasey, and we turn to this group of people for all our dog needs. If you have a dog and need anything from a pet-sitter to natural dog food, check out the K9 Circle website first. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

This Weekend's Painting

I did a 16x20 painting for the Lazy Daze Festival. Of course, I never think the pictures do my paintings justice, but here it is. ;)

I haven't done a landscape painting in a while and I really enjoyed being able to do this one. This painting is based on a photograph I took early one morning up at Matt's family's lake house in Vermont this summer. Vermont always provides such beautiful landscape inspiration.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just Say No

When considering whether or not to put glow-in-the-dark stamps of crowns on your wall, just say 'no'. When we moved into our house the previous owners had made a "princess" room for their daughter. It was cute, but a major undertaking to change. Covering every wall were invisible glow-in-the-dark stamps of crowns, which were raised. I should have taken out stock in sandpaper before redesigning the room. Here's the before picture.
After much sanding, lots of primer, base paint, Advil, and many decorative and faux painting tools this is the finished product.
I can't believe it's the same room. Ah, nothing like a good challenge. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Guess who these people are

The First Post!

This is officially my first post as a blogger! High five! I thought I'd give this a try and see how interesting or uninteresting it is to various and sundry people, so let me know what you think.

So, I have the Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival coming up on August 23rd in Cary, which means I've been painting like a maniac over here. Over 60,000 people attended the festival last year. Plus, they have a Beer Garden this year, so WHO KNOWS how many people will be there! ;) I've been creating mostly smaller paintings since I feel like most people won't be walking around with tons of cash, and what I specialize in are custom paintings. I'm thinking of this festival as more of an advertising opportunity. For those in the area, I hope you can make it! Here are a few of the paintings I've done so far for the festival:

A special thank you to Kelly for providing photos of her Kenny for inspiration for this one. He's so adorable!

I had to show some detail; he's too cute!

Here are a couple more:

And now I am off to create more paintings, and pray that it is not 1000 degrees next Saturday at the festival. In the meantime, I'm also making some "fans" to hand out just in case it turns out to be one of those hot and humid North Carolina summer days.