Sunday, December 14, 2008

Queen Victoria Miniature - Finish

Here the finished Victoria miniature, for Laurie. I have to remember, when working on these paintings, that they will only be 30 x 40 mm large. I really get into rendering little bits here and there, mostly because I really enjoy portrait painting, but you can't even see that stuff when the piece of jewelry is complete!

The oval version of this is just a preview, not the final setting. The original Victoria painting has quite a lot of head room, which I want to include in the new one, though perhaps not quite so much room. I left the bottom part of the painting merely suggested (and missing buttons!) because I knew I would be cropping most of it out. It looks like I'll need to add another button in there, though :-P

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Queen Victoria Miniature - In Progress

This painting has been commissioned by the wonderful woman who plays Queen Victoria at the SF Dickens Faire, Laurie Tavan. I was asked to "combine" the photo reference of her with this existing historical portrait of Victoria. I'm posting the first color sketch where you can see my outline, and also where I am in terms of progress. It is possible that I will be changing Laurie's dress to resemble the historical portrait, as well as adding the braid -- these things are yet to be determined.

The original painting, at least in this digitized form, has a distinctly green appearance which I am not including in the new portrait. I want to maintain the watercolor-on-porcelain texture you see in the background, and will need to work on it a little more later. The danger with this portrait is rendering TOO much, getting it too smooth. Laurie has a remarkably smooth complexion, and I cannot change her face too much or else it will not resemble her, so I will need to add in the painterly detail to her hair and gown.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rosie & Tosh Portrait Progress

I spent a good chunk of time today adding Rosie into the picture, and I got fairly far on rendering her as well, whereas Tosh still has a ways to go.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pet Portraits for Christmas

I've been working on a couple pet portraits for Christmas gifts -- one for a lovely little lady with a great big black horse, the other for my dad.

I already posted about Bernie, but here's a slight revision. He was looking kindof cartoony before, and it's not all that different, but I lightened the background and worked a bit on his jaw.

This second one is of our family's two hunting dogs, Rosie and Tosh. The yellow lab is Tosh, going along nicely, and Rosie has yet to be added, but you can see the spot for her. I'm thinking this one is going to be pretty large, and I'll want to do some hand painted details, sign it, and varnish it before matting and framing for Christmas.

Friday, December 05, 2008


A Christmas gift portrait of "Bernie," the former stallion. Blocked in in Photoshop using the lovely canvas texture brush, then worked in Corel Painter, leaving some of the canvas to show through, and working with a very "hairy" brush.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Couldn't Resist...

This is just too much fun. Has anyone played the board game "Settlers of Catan?" It's CRAZY fun -- anyway, my brother has the game; we have his puppy's favorite toy (Mr. Buffalo). It's a RANSOM!

Photoshop Actions

I have discovered Actions, those lovely filter effects that other people make to enable photo-editing novices such as myself to create awesomeness. Here are two that turned out really the click of a button. This last one is just for fun - Jehan did such a lovely "dirty polaroid" image on his site that I wanted to try it -- you can see his HERE.

New LRI logos!

I've been needing to create a self-contained logo for Lauren Reeser Illustration for awhile now, and here it is! I originally had two more windmills in the circle, but it seemed like too much. Also, instead of putting the windmill smack center, I left it off to the side. I like the negative space it creates. Maybe this is actually a REALLY BAD logo and type design according to "real" graphic designers, but I like it! I hand-kerned the letters, and edited some of the letter shapes. I'll probably update my website with the new banners sometime soon.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bad Self Portrait

This is a terrible self portrait, but a good exercise. I set up "bad" lighting conditions - a spot light somewhere behind me, some ambient light from the kitchen, a candle (no real light there), all behind me, so the majority of my face with kindof one tone and dark and difficult to see. I used the color picker and just smooshed color all over the canvas. It actually ended decent from the way it was going before (I looked like a zombie)! All my self portraits look this way, with this kindof "I'm going to kill you" feel to them, even though I am really a nice person! Maybe my soul is black as tar and it's coming out in my paint sketches? Hahaha.
If you click on the image you get a super-huge version, and when you look at just little pieces of it it actually looks quite nice, thoughg the whole thing doesn't work AT ALL.