Monday, January 06, 2014


I was more successful with my other handmade gifts.  Inspired by my art classes, my subsequent supplies, and by Rachel's offhand comment this summer that "Ben has always wanted an oil portrait of himself," I decided to do some painting for my siblings.

But not Ben's portrait first - too daunting.  I decided to warm up with portrait subjects who don't care how they look:

Andy and Jenn's pets - Linus, Roman, and Lucy

 Here are the original photos I stole from Jenn's Flickr account, for comparison's sake:

Frankly, I was surprised by how well they turned out.  Time to tackle a human!

Rachel sent me a zip file of photos of Ben, and I decided to go with the most dramatic of the lot:

And so that became:

I think I did a better job with the animals, but it is at least identifiable as Ben.  Plus, the lady at Hobby Lobby who saw me carrying the portrait through the frame aisle looking for a fit was "super impressed."

With four paintings down, I had one to go.  I got the idea for this painting when Rachel first told me Sam's name, and I also had the most fun making this one.  I took Tolkien's original cover art for The Hobbit, which looks like this:

... sketched a cropped version on a larger scale, added two hobbits, a quote from Lord of the Rings, added the Denver skyline and replaced Lake-town with Lakeside.

I then neglected to take a decent photo of the final product.  Whoops.

UPDATE:  Rachel kindly sent me a better photo of the finished painting.  Yay!

Again, I'm pleased with the results.  I liked imitating Tolkien's art style, and it was fun to figure out and replicate his watercolor techniques.  Plus, I got to play with frisket again.  That's always fun.

Technically, I painted six items this year.  I made Jack a rope swing and painted the wooden seat but again I neglected my photographerly duties.  Ah, well.  Perhaps I'll get a shot of it in action in a few months when it stops being 10 degrees outside.

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