Today I made a quick video tutorial on how to create a new eye with sparkle from an existing eyeball. Our model is Oscar the Mini Doxie. If you are a digital artist or an aspiring one please consider joining me in Dallas on April 11th and 12th for a Photoshop Digital Painting workshop. In this 2 day hands on class I teach my students to use the smudge tool and the paint brushes in Photoshop to draw and paint using the Wacom drawing tablet. The class is only $205 for 12 hours of instruction. You can sign up at the Creative Arts Center website. This course is great for both the hobbyist that wants to create a pet portrait of their own pet and it is really terrific for artists and photographers that want to learn to add digital painting to their arsenal. In one of my classes I had 3 women from out of state that wanted to do what I do professionally and I was very generous with additional business information in relation to pet portraiture business models and resources.
I am a huge lover of bold color,
last year I taught a mosaic class with a concentration on color. That course had me studying fun color trivia facts. This year I want to continue to celebrate color in every possible way that I can. This month my assistant Brittany and I have started sharing color trivia over on our Art Paw Face Book Page. Today I will post just a couple of trivia image posts that I created for our news feed. Below that I will share some animal related color trivia … enjoy.
Animal Color Trivia Facts:
• Bees can’t see the color red, but they can see all other bright colors. Red flowers are usually pollinated by birds, butterflies, bats, and wind, rather than bees.
• The scarlet ibis gets its color from the red crabs it eats
• Did you know that Goldfish lose their color if kept in dim light. Similar to humans, they need sunlight to keep their pigment.
• Mosquitoes are attracted to the color blue twice as much as to any other color.
• A squid can change color and pattern in 700 milliseconds-almost in the blink of an eye
• Schizochromatic (what a mouthful!) is a term meaning that an animal does not have a color that it normally would have.
• If a creature is xanthochromatic then it had more yellow in it than normal.
I am Swamped again with Pet Portrait orders! I just proofed this adorable Puggie.
Today I will try very hard to proof 3 clients. I usually spend a couple of hours of painting on each portrait before I provide my first proofing round. Before I even sit down to add in color and brush strokes I usually have spent at least 30 minutes optimizing the photograph and erasing the background. For a traditional oil painter 2 and half hours may seem super fast however you have to also factor in the possible additional time I could spend reproofing and tweaking one of the provided proofs and then the production time of printing and stretching the canvases. I would guess that an average project can take me anywhere between 5 and 8 hours total. I do like to work in a bit of a production style meaning that yes today I will get to do the fun creative work of playing with color on 3 pet projects. Monday I spent the entire morning optimizing several photos and organizing new orders. If I can proof 3 clients today and 3 clients tomorrow I will start to feel caught up on my painting work.
If you are a new pet portrait artist just starting out you may think that 6 projects in one week sounds pretty overwhelming. The reality is that if you plan to make a full time income on pet portraiture you will have to become very efficient with your time. Or, you can also go the high end route of charging thousands for your work and then you can indeed have the luxury of lingering for weeks on one project. Too often however people are impatient and even if you have the time to spend weeks and months on one single portrait, it is the rare client that really wants to wait that long.
So now, I take a 15 minute break in between projects to rest my eyes, recharge and maybe even do a load of laundry.
Pet Portrait Photoshop Proofing:
Today I updated sweet happy Kota. My client asked for tame colors similar to her original photo, however after showing her around 15 tame options she indicated that she might want to see more color on Kota. I was more than happy to go back in and add more color, all of my clients get one set of free changes if they are needed. In this video today I talk about my proofing terms and you can see me working a little bit in Photoshop adding some additional color and brush strokes. I also discuss the difference in how traditional painters working in oils or acrylics usually provide proofing and the flexibility that Photoshop allows us.
Behind the scenes in my Pet Portrait studio
I am very excited to be launching my new pet portrait blog where I will be sharing tutorials and a behind the scenes glimpse into my world of full time pet portraiture. I will be posting tutorials, videos and works in progress. I am Rebecca Collins and I run the portraiture studio artpaw.com. The cutie pie on this post is Belle, and this work was created during my busy holiday season. Last year I create over 200 pet portraits and this year I want to keep those numbers strong while also branching off into teaching my skills to others.
Sometimes I do worry that in sharing my knowledge with other artists I am just training my competition to steal my business and yet at the end of the day I know that there is plenty of work to go around. It is my hope that other artists will take my tips and then put their own unique spin on pet portraiture, raising the bar for us all.