If you read Part 1 of this post, you know that I used to paint for a living. WET paint, that is. Then I discovered the joy of digital painting, using a Wacom tablet and an electronic pen. (You draw on the tablet, and it appears on your computer screen.) It was the most fun I ever had painting. You can work in layers, so it’s easy to take out things that you don’t like, or add new ones, without messing anything up. And you can use all sorts of digital “brushes” for blending effects, oil and watercolor effects, and much, much more. The above is a portrait I did of my daughter’s Dalmation, Dexter.
My cousin’s dachshund, Greta, was one of my first efforts. I’ve broken it down so you can see that you work it just like a real (wet) painting. First there’s a sketch.
Because the background is on one layer, and the sketch on another, you can change the background to any color you want at any point. So versatile! Next, the color is blocked in.
Then, it is blended for the first time, softening the areas together, and adding a few details.
Then, more and more details are added, until you’ve got the look you want. The finished painting can be printed on watercolor paper, or on notecards, and other items. Paint once, use again and again. (Or sell again and again–kind of like writing a book.)
Here are a few other examples of my work, which I generally did as custom orders for people who wanted their pets captured in a painting.
This is a friend’s little dachsie, Riley, and one of the cutest little guys you’ve ever seen.
These were done at very high resolutions (too large to fit on my monitor all at once) so that they would print nicely. Here is a closer look at Riley’s face, though this is still not as big as I was working.
This is Ginger, commissioned by a friend for her mother, after the dog had passed away.
And a close up of Ginger’s eye, so you can see how much detail I used. (I really enjoyed being able to capture every little bit I could.)
While I did more dogs than anything else, sometimes I’d paint other things, just for fun. Florals and scenery, and the occasional horse.
So, that, my good friends, is what I did in my Former Life, before repetitive stress syndrome became too painful to allow me to continue. I was sad at first, but then I started writing, at long last, and now I couldn’t be happier. Never look back, except with fond memories. That’s my motto.
And now it’s your turn. What did YOU do before you started writing? I’d love to know!