The Trio – WIP

Happy Belated Easter Everyone!

Here is my latest work in progress (WIP).  “The Trio” is my daughter, Hayley, and the family’s two rat terriers, Ranger and Scout.  They love to “sing” together quite frequently, so I thought that it would be fun to capture in a painting.

The first step was a photo shoot of the singers….which was fun, but eardrum splitting!  Scout (the dog on the right) has a nice, cute little howl.  However, Ranger (the one in Hayley’s arms) doesn’t really know how to howl.  It’s kind of a cross between yapping/howling.  Quite comical – yet noisy!  By the time the photo session was over my ears were ringing.

After looking at all of the photos on the computer, I discovered that there wasn’t just one photo of the three of them that I liked.  Three separate photos had qualities about each subject that I thought were cute.  Therefore, I took the three separate photos and used them as a reference for a sketch.  The sketching phase of this piece took quite a bit of time.  Especially since I’m not at all good at drawing people.  For some reason I have a mental block when it comes to the human figure.  My professors in college constantly told me “Michelle, if you can draw horses as well as you do, then you can draw people!”  I guess I just need to practice more.

Quite a few colored pencil artists will work on one little area of the painting at a time.  Some start from the center and work outward, while others work from left to right.  They do this to prevent smudging.  However, I cannot do this.  I simply cannot focus on one area at a time or I quickly become bored.  Not only that – I’m afraid that I won’t be able to keep the colors in the piece balanced.  To prevent smudging, I carefully lay the dusting brush across the piece (like a painter’s maulstick) and rest my hand on it.  It helps to have the brush right there anyway – so I can brush away crumbs quickly as they appear.

I’m hoping to finish this piece up this afternoon.  Once I have it completed, I will do a post and put it in the gallery.  Until then, here are some photos that I took along the way (next time I’ll try to remember to take photos during earlier phases):

April 4, 2012:

 April 7, 2012:


4 thoughts on “The Trio – WIP

  1. It’s SO beautiful, Honey! I can almost hear them! You are so talented – I wish I had your patience… still puttering away with my watercolors… 🙂 Love you!

  2. So adorable. You don’t give yourself credit. I am going to take the dive back into design once I get moved. Ideas are popping in my head. Now to build up my confidence again.

    • Nancie: Thank you! Good to hear that you will be getting back into designing!! The best way to build confidence is to dive in and not be afraid of making mistakes (of which I have to constantly remind myself).

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