Tag Archives: painting

Pet portrait work in progress

Meet Hopper.

Photo of Hopper

I mentioned him in my last post and he’s still hanging around.  (He just started showing up around our house around the end of January.)  He just makes my heart melt.  I go out every night and feed him by hand while talking to him.  Slowly building up the trust with him and hoping one day I’ll get to hold him.  I took this picture recently and it’s one of my favorites of him.  I felt inspired and decided to do a portrait of Hopper using this photo as inspiration.

Initial sketch of Hopper

So I grabbed my sketch pad and pencil, then got to drawing.  First step was to create a sketch using the photo.  I’ve done a couple of simple quick sketches of him, but this portrait will be a more realistic version done in oils.

Underpainting of pet portrait

Next I transferred the sketch to the 16×20 canvas I’ll be using for this painting.  Then I grabbed some burnt umber oil paint and painted over it.

Initial blocks of color

After letting the underpainting dry, I then mixed up some paint and added the initial blocks of color to the painting.  Because this is a more realistic painting, I am using oil paints.

Progress so far

Then yesterday I got down to work.  I painted in the background and the branch on the upper left of the canvas.  Next up is to make any changes I feel are needed to both of those, then I get to start on the rabbit himself.  This painting has been quite wonderful to work on.  I felt a little lost with the background at first, but I’m pretty happy with it now.

I won’t actually be putting this painting up for sale.  I’m being selfish and keeping the original painting for myself.  I really want a special piece of art honoring this adorable little critter.  🙂  However, I do hope to add prints to my shop and will be using the image for my Zazzle shop, as well.

I’m hoping to finish this painting by the time I go on vacation, which is April 14th.  I’ll be sure to post updated pictures as soon as I can!

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Red hat owl painting and a new inspiration

Red hat owl painting

Just finished a brand new 7×5 custom acrylic painting for someone very special in my life.  I visited my aunt in November and, knowing that she’s been interested in my owl paintings for quite some time, we sat down and figured out just what she wanted.  She’s the one who came up with the idea to add the purse and I just love it.  I’ll be taking pictures this weekend – for possible prints and to add to products in my Zazzle shop – then I’ll be mailing it off on Monday.  I can hardly wait for her to get it.  🙂

Some new projects in the works involve a little critter named Hopper (thanks to my seven year old niece) who has decided to adopt us and steal my heart.  😉

 

Hopper and the sketch

I’ve gotten some great photos of my little buddy and used one of them to do this quick little sketch Thursday night.  I’ll be working on some art featuring this fun little fellow soon.

I’m off to go run errands now then hopefully do a bit of creating.  I really must finish up the last of the Art-o-mat blocks, as they are almost out of them.  Then I’ll be ordering 80 more and starting the process again!  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

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Thinking of you…

That is the title of my new oil painting that is almost complete.  A bunch of artist from ArtFire are starting up a blog where we choose a monthly theme and create a piece of 2D art according to that theme.  This is our first month, so we went with Valentine’s Day.  It’s been cool to see how everyone interprets it and what they’ve created.  Here’s my (almost) finished painting:

 

Thinking of You

I still have a few tweaks to make and then the sides to paint.  After she dries a bit, then she’ll be listed in my ArtFire shop.  She was quite fun to work on.

I’m also hard at work on a new collection of paintings for my shop!  I have three completed so far and I’m planning to finish up at least five more before I introduce them.  I’m getting a new delivery of 5 inch round canvases tomorrow and those will make up half of the initial paintings, while the rest have been done on 5×4 inch canvas paintings.  My little inner child has been enjoying these mini paintings and I really hope that you’ll like them, too.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can finish up the other five this week and introduce them the week after.

Wishing you all a very creative and blessed week and I look forward to sharing the latest news with you soon!

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Checking in with an update…

Hello everyone!  I hope that your new year is off to a good start.  I’ve got several projects in the works right now and there is excitement about each of them.  Plus the ideas are bombarding me constantly.  I’m making plans, writing notes and taking steps towards turning these ideas into actual pieces of art!

Early last year I came up with a sketch of a woman with flowing hair and a bird perched on her hand.  I loved the sketch and immediately started to paint it.  Right from the start, things went wrong.  Horribly wrong.  I ended up putting the painting aside after keeping it out for a month.  I just kept staring at it and every time I saw it, I felt worse.

Last month, something sparked in my brain and I came up with an idea that used that very sketch.  I made a few changes, added a background and a foreground, and voila!  I love this sketch even more.  I’ve transferred the sketch over to an 18×24 gessobord and the painting has begun.

woman with bird in rainforest

Here is a look at the sketch for the painting.  The first layer of the background has been applied and my next step is to fill in the foreground and the woman and bird.  I used photos from my recent trip to Hawaii as reference material for the jungle.  I visited the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens in Hilo and was blown away by it.  The beauty and diversity of plants and trees was overwhelming.  The path through the gardens ends at a spectacular view of the ocean and I was in tears.  I snapped hundreds of pictures and am so happy I did, as I can use them to inspire new artwork in the future.  I’ll be talking more about this (among other things) in the first newsletter for Quirky Dame Designs that will be sent out later this month.  If you are interested in receiving it, you can sign up at http://eepurl.com/o4tP.

Another project is the next series of 30 Art-o-mat blocks!  They’ve already sold over half of the first batch and are running low, so I’m continuing work on the remaining 30 that I have left.

art-o-mat preview

A preview of four blocks that are completed so far.  I have a total of seven done.  Once I finish them all, I’ll be ordering 80 more blocks and the work will continue!  I’m thoroughly enjoying my experience with this project and am so happy to continue participating.  I also found out that my blocks have been available in Winston-Salem, NC at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art.  Not sure if they are still available there, as I know that some have sold.

I’ll be back again soon with more news from Quirky Dame Designs.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

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Mutual Admiration – An Original Oil Painting by Julie Behm

Initial sketch for Mutual Admiration A few years back, my best friend and I started a tradition.  For our Christmas gift (or at least part of it) we would create something for each other.  I’ve given paintings each year and in return I’ve gotten a wonderful hand-painted plaster mask, a painting and this year, a wonderful piece of art done with watercolor pencils, plus a gorgeous handmade necklace and earring set.  I’ve been very spoiled!

This year, I was pondering what to do.  I started out with the idea to paint a realistic nude and the initial sketch came out gorgeous.  Somehow, things went downhill between finishing the sketch and transferring it to the gessobord.  I didn’t like the composition and I found I wasn’t very excited about it and realized that I needed to rethink things.  I do enjoy the challenge of painting realistically, but honestly, I don’t want to do that every time.  And this time I wanted to do something different – something fun and colorful but not too realistic.  By the end of the day, I had a new sketch of a woman and her cat completed.  And I found myself getting excited about painting this one.  It just felt right.  By this time, it was already into December, but I knew that I wanted to do this one in oils.

So, I got to work.  The skin tones came together fairly easily.    Painting in oils was the right choice.  I’m so much more at ease with the oils, especially when it comes to painting people.  Working on this painting helped solidify my decision to focus more on oils this upcoming year and less on acrylics.  Some things, such as my owl and the Art-o-mat blocks will still be done in acrylics.  But the rest will mostly be done in oils.  And I’m really excited about that!

Mutual Admiration To the left, you can see the finished painting.  I’m pretty happy with it and feel that I made the right decision to scrap the original idea for now.  Best of all, it was done before Christmas and in time to exchange today, though just barely!  Thanks to thesunnysidebiz on ArtFire, it has a name, which is Mutual Admiration.  (I’m simply horrible at naming paintings and when I mentioned it needed one on the forums on ArtFire, she put forth her idea.  I’m very grateful!)   It was done on a 9×12 stretched canvas.

My next project is another owl, a special custom painting for my darling aunt.  This owl will be a red hat owl and it promises to be a fun project.  After that, another oil painting and I’m narrowing down the possibilities out of several promising sketches. I hope to spend New Year’s Eve doing what I love best… painting!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and may the New Year be filled with many blessings!

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Quirky Dame Designs available in Art-o-mats!

That’s right, I just received word that my mini paintings have been shipped to the following three locations:

  • The Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
  • The Studios of Key West in Florida
  • The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (Opening on December 15, 2010)

Ah, now I’m wishing I could arrange a long weekend in Vegas!  🙂  It feels great to know that my paintings are now out and about and available for purchase.  I have started painting backgrounds on a few of the remaining 30 blocks that I have left to paint.  Ideas are brimming in my brain and I’m excited to start creating some more pieces soon!  If you have found this page after purchasing one of my pieces, please comment or email me.  I’d love to hear from you and find out which painting you received!

While I was in Seattle at the beginning of last month, I had the pleasure of visiting a delightful shop called Venue Ballard.  It was full of wonderful jewelry and art.  I found a charming owl print that I just couldn’t resist.

Owl print

And how did I discover this business?

Art-o-mat at Venue

Art-o-mat!  Yes, they have one there and I was lucky enough to pick out six wonderful pieces, though I’m wishing that I had gotten a few more!  🙂  I took the pieces back to my Aunt’s home where we were staying and had a great time checking out the pieces I had purchased.  Here’s what I got:

The little robot dude makes a great pendant.  🙂  My aunt was kind enough to give me a silver chain and I ended up wearing him to the Art Walk the next day. I’m looking forward to the day when I have another chance to visit one of these machines!

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Holiday Happenings at Quirky Dame Designs!

Fantasy Flower pinI am back from a much-needed, very restful vacation and am getting back into the swing of things creatively. I’ve added a few new items to my shop.  To the left is the Fantasy Flower pin and there are two more featuring cats. I also have some hand painted pendants in the works.  I’ve been having fun playing around with the smaller scale pieces. I love unique, playful jewelry and creating it?  So much fun!

While I was away, I was gathering inspiration.  I spent two weeks soaking up the sights in Hawaii and have come away with many wonderful photos to use as references and a couple of sketches.  I attended two one-hour demonstrations featuring Hawaiian musicians and hula dancers.  I am fascinated by the hula and plan on studying it more in-depth.  In the meantime, I worked on a sketch of a hula dancer and hope to turn it into a painting soon.  I’m also working on a whimsical 8×6 oval painting of a mermaid.

But first, I must paint my Christmas present for my best friend.  Each year, we create something for each other instead of just buying something from the store.  I love having the chance to dream up and create something special with her in mind.  That’s also one of the things that I love about custom orders.  Being able to tailor something to another person’s taste and vision is quite a challenge and it’s so rewarding when you have managed to capture what they wanted and even more in a piece.

Polka Dot Cat pinOkay, I had to share the picture of this crazy cat!  It is another one of the hand painted pins.  He was a fun one to work on!  If you are looking for some colorful, quirky items as gifts for Christmas, I do have a few special deals at Quirky Dame Designs.

First, all prints, cards, hand painted magnets and pins ship USPS first class for free!  If you need quicker shipping, please contact me.  I will deduct what the first class postage would have been from the total of the faster shipping cost.

Also, all mini paintings with easels, such as the oneSleepy Owl to the left, are 20% off!  I do accept custom orders, so if you see anything you like, but would prefer different colors, etc., please contact me about having something special made to your specifications.

Be back again soon with more news from Quirky Dame Designs!

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