Christmas commission

Boomer and Sonni, Boston terrier buddies, with their favorite toys.
LEARNING: Paint the eyes first. They are the most important element.

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Golden Gate National Cemetery

Sketchy painting done plein air in a 7 x 10″ spiral book (the color didn’t reproduce well here; it is not so yellow). I felt reverence seeing the long rows of headstones stretching into the vast distance. Learning points: I started with some thumbnail sketches (below) just trying out some ideas.

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A moment of clarity

Sketched at Remillard Park, off Sir Francis Drake Blvd. by the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.

Learning: Everything feels so rushed and busy. On a day of visiting friends in Mill Valley, I made a point to put my sketch kit in the car and stop at this narrow shoreline trail park, which I have passed so many times. The resulting sketch is rather mediocre but the actual point is taking some time for yourself, even 20 minutes, to breathe in a natural setting. You might consider walking the dog (without talking on the cell phone, just to be with the dog in the moment) or just sitting and looking at the water.

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Toast to the New Year!

I’ve been lax on sketching and need to renew my efforts. This year I will focus on learning.
LEARNING: Keep the sketchbook handy and portable for sketching random moments. This was sketched, then consumed, at Cactus Taqueria in Oakland.

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Makoa the pit bull

Sweet pet portraits… “Come Home Soon!” and “At the Park”

I did two versions, based on photos. I think the dog was older when shown lying on the floor.


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Fried again

Just love those fried egg poppies.

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Ireland

Dear friends are moving to Ireland… happy for them but will miss them. They took a photo there recently, which I interpreted in this watercolor painting. The puddle was added purely from imagination; it just seemed apt for the misty atmosphere.

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Mother’s at the spa and not to be disturbed

A serene afternoon in Calistoga. (I sketched this last summer but didn’t post it.)

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Summer poppies

House on Paru St with Matilija poppies (the “fried egg poppy”) behind its little white picket fence. Quintessential summer day!

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Sheila found a happy home

Sheila is a rescued pit bull who found a new home! There were some challenges in this Pet Portrait. The client’s first pic depicted Sheila happy with her new companion, but it was so blurry she appeared to be a white lab and I knew that wasn’t right! I asked the client for more reference, and they sent a photo but warned me it showed Sheila unhappy and stressed, before she found her new family. However, the photo clearly depicted her coloration, including that delightful little mark on top of her forehead. Combining the references, I used the happy pose but lowered Sheila’s head so her markings were visible. Yes, those two photos show the same dog, hard to believe!

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