Portrait Of A Dog And The Gifts Dogs Give Us Unconditionally

Last weekend I continued working on my digital painting skills by doing this portrait of a dog named Scoby. If you’ve ever drank kombucha, you may understand his name a little better. His momma, Donna Schwenk, is the founder of Cultured Food Life and is a dear friend.

Portrait study of a dog named Scoby

This is a portrait study of a dog named Scoby painted digitally in ArtRage

I got to meet Scoby last year when I had a leak in my roof. Donna’s husband, Ron, came to my rescue to fix it and brought the mighty Scoby along. Apparently, he goes everywhere with Ron and is obsessed with him. The reference photo I took for

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Learning How To Do Fine Art Painting Using Procreate And ArtRage

I’m finally learning how to do fine art painting using Procreate and ArtRage with the iPad Pro. I resisted getting an iPad for SO LONG and was one of those traditional snobs who thought “digital art wasn’t real art”. BUT, the world is changing and my mind is changing regarding the subject. Bottom line, I’m coming to realize there is a definitely a place for digital art in today’s world. 

Cheating or not cheating?

Using a reference photo in ArtRage

Using a reference photo inside Artrage

To me I thought it was too easy to cheat or difficult to do very “painterly” art digitally based on some of the work I’ve seen out there. However, there are a lot of ways to create whatever effect you want with the tools inside the programs.

There definitely is an opportunity to “cheat” by being able to trace images and color select right off reference photos, however, it’s still the artist that brings their unique skill set and interpretation of the subject to life using the tools in the program just like you would use paint and a brush.

Values and color

Selecting colors from the reference photo is helpful for learning values, but you need to have knowledge of what color to start with in order to create blended colors. Selecting a

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How To Paint A Dog Portrait In Oil Step-By-Step

Have you seen a painting of a pet and wondered how to paint a dog portrait? If you have then today is your lucky day!

Step-By-Step, Baby…

I came across this cool website called Snapguide that helps people create step-by-step instructions. There are a variety of “how to” guides which include everything from making a cake to applying eye shadow.

How to paint a dog portrait image

It’s My First Step-By-Step Guide EVER!

I’ve wanted to find a way to share how I did my art, but really didn’t have

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Painting Failures And Mistakes – Should I Give Up Or Start Over?

The odyssey of one of my painting failures begins…

Life is full of failures. I’ve had small painting failures before, but this one had me starting over. I had primed one of my panels improperly and the painting just wasn’t working. This painting was a commission and had to be done within a specific time frame and a mistake was not part of the plan.

Painting Failures image

It started out great, or so I thought…

Above you see the progression of the painting I’m talking about. It might look good in the photo, but the first two shots are of the panel that failed.

I started the drawing and captured the likeness, but as I continued to work I noticed I was struggling with the paint on the surface. I had just started painting in oils, so I really didn’t know if this was a normal thing or something going terribly wrong.

All I knew is that the struggle was getting really, really, real!

Step 1: The pain begins:

Painting of Sammie step one - painting failures

Sammie step 1 – a disaster waiting to happen

For step 1 on this little painting of Sammie, the cutie-pie Cavalier King Charles, I was feeling pretty good about how the drawing

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combine painting

Cool Combine is #2!

I painted this combine at the beginning of the year. It’s only the second oil painting I’ve ever done as an adult!

The Start of Something New…

At the beginning of the year I decided to expand from acrylic painting (which I still love) to oil painting.

I did oil painting as a kid, but the smell of the turpentine made me a little light headed.

Fortunately there are now more non-toxic ways to paint in oil, which has allowed me to breath a little easier.

Out of Iowa…

I’m originally from Eastern Iowa so any scenes that are reminiscent of the farmlands I (more…)

A Spooky Thing Happened In The Studio Today

Spooky things sometimes happen while painting

Every once in awhile, spooky stuff happens while creating a piece of art.

I’ve had drawings in the past that would contain a full portrait in the background of somebody I never intended to draw. This happened in college and scared my roommate so bad that she never really got over it! (Still makes me laugh.)

Today I was staining a canvas and noticed a face appearing right before I wiped it down.

painting today in the studio

Is it Donald Trump or my mind playing tricks?

It wasn’t just me!

I posted this image on Instagram and an artist friend of mine, Stephen Holding, had the exact same thing happen to him yesterday. Double spooky

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Picasso quote on inspiration

If you are waiting for inspiration, you may be missing out.

So many artists (anybody, really) find excuses to get started on something because they are waiting for inspiration to strike.

Having worked as a creative professional for over 30 years, the one thing I know for sure is that if I had waited for inspiration to get a job going, I would have been fired. Funny how when you know you have to find inspiration, you get good at finding it rather than it finding you. (more…)

101 Things To Be Grateful For

Being grateful is a hot topic these days. If you are familiar with Brené Brown, then you know she never interviewed a single joyful person in twelve years of research that didn’t actively practice gratitude. Since we all want to experience more joy, it’s about time we roll up our gratitude sleeves and get to work!

quote about being grateful

If you’re like me and are out of practice in the gratitude department, this list of 101 things to be grateful for can help get you get started. Some of things on the list may resonate with you. If they do, feel free to use them. If they don’t feel right, make up a couple of your own.

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Building A New Blog About Art And Life

Construction for new blog

Pardon The Mess While I Build A New Blog

If you’re looking for BreakupU, it’s still here but the posts will be archived as I start posting for my new blog. Yes, that means I’m “breaking up” with my old blog but fear not – I’ll be weaving together themes of creativity and life moving forward.

I hope you’ll join me as I work on my art and share all of the ups and downs along the way. Turns out creating a piece of art is very similar to living life. It’s messy, frustrating, challenging, fun and rewarding. Check back for new posts coming soon!

Blaming others keeps you stuck

Are you a person who can come up with a thousand reasons why you can’t do something because someone or something is standing in your way? If so you may have unwittingly cast yourself as the victim in the storyline of your own life.

The Part(s) You Are Playing

If you can imagine your life as a movie and you as the director, ask yourself what roles you have been casting yourself in. You may have automatically taken roles of being a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a worker, a friend etc., without thinking much about it. It’s what everybody does. But try looking at your current roles as an actor would. (more…)