If you missed Part 1, be sure to check that out first. Part 1 covers work from July 2020 to August 2020, while Part 2 brings us from September to the end of 2020.
2020 still feels like a thousand years.
In late August, I took on two commissions for pet portraits, once to be completed in September and the next in October. (I ask for a month to complete these portraits, to give myself time to work on multiple projects at once.)
The first portrait features an adorable Shiba Inu named Riko. This pup is such a cutie, and I’m lucky to have been asked to recreate him. I love how fluffy I made his ears look. I want to touch them.
One Week Portrait challenge
Earlier this year, I attempted my first One Week Portrait Challenge, hosted by Paintable. I didn’t finish that first attempt after I became discouraged due to my tablet failing. But I knew I wanted to try again when I had the chance.
That chance arrived in September, and this time I was ready. I chose a photo I found on Pexels by Gabb Tapic, which was shiny and glamourous, and spent the five days coming up with the final result below.
I took the advice here that “finished is better than perfect.” The portrait is far from a real “finish,” but I accomplished what I set out to do. And that was to create a portrait in a week and learn a bunch on the way while having fun doing it. Next time I’ll be even more comfortable with the process.
Earlier in August, well before working on the One Week Portrait Challenge, I created another portrait. This one would be a gift for my sister, on her birthday, using a reference of a photo I took one summer years before.
This one was tough. I might have taken on more than I intended, based on my experience. I have a better idea of what to do to make this all easier for myself now, especially after completing the latest One Week Portrait Challenge.
The next project for October was the second pet portrait commission, the small gentleman named Mango. Mango is an adorable dog, and I enjoyed recreating him in painted form. His colour, and soft curls of his fur, were an exciting challenge.
For December, I took on more commissions for pet portraits in addition to a handful of other projects intended to be Christmas gifts for family and friends. Now that it is after Christmas, I can safely share these things without fear of spoiling the surprise.
The first is a pet portrait commission of a chihuahua named Opal. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take photos of this dog myself, enabling me to get the best possible angle and expression. For this portrait, it was the first time I painted a dog with such short fur, allowing me to add more detail to the face. I experimented with additional back-lighting and fur brushes, and like the result!
Next up is a portrait for my parents of their Havanese, Addie. Along with the paintings I have created of Toby and Boots, this now includes all of their dogs. Addie is such a sweet dog with a gaze so intense that she stares through souls. I tried to capture that intensity here.
Henry is a dog that belongs to my sister and her family, and I have always wanted to paint him. The reference photo for this is one I took many years ago when visiting my sister’s old home in Newfoundland. I always loved look of the photo I took, and it seemed fitting to use it for this project. Henry is such a loveable goof.
The last work of this year was another gift, and this one was for my husband. For many years, he played World of Warcraft (WoW) and has a character named Thievens, a rogue orc with a penchant for murder. I played WoW a fair bit, too, though we didn’t actually play the game together until the Classic version’s re-release, however.
I enjoyed the break from pet portraits in going back to a different art style for this character portrait. I haven’t drawn orcs before, so it was challenging to recreate this character’s face in a new style.
While painting, I created a screen capture using OBS Studio and am working on finalizing a time-lapse to share via Youtube later next month. I’ll be sure to announce that when it comes available, as well.
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