The Lowly Pencil by Roger Greengo

Art Projects In Graphite

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Portraits and Whatnot

Well, this seems to be developing into a picture journal rather than a full fledged blog. I haven’t been keeping up with my entries, so this one will be a bit long. I guess I dropped the ball after making my initial entry, but things seem so busy around here these days.

Not long ago my friend asked me to do a commissioned portrait of his wife as a surprise birthday gift. I’m very happy they agreed to let me post this drawing here.

I later entered this piece in an art show in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, and couldn't miss the opportunity to have my picture taken with the live subject.

The picture above the portrait is a treed Bobcat. For some reason I did take a (not so good) picture of it when it was half finished, and have since shown it several times as a work in progress (WIP). It would have had much more impact if I had thought to scan it into my computer rather than take a photo of it. Oh well, live and learn.

Lately I've been doing a few pet commissions. I really love doing these for folks. Having Photographs of your pets, after their demise, is a wonderful thing, but I think an actual portrait, to hang on the wall, is a much better way to remember them. I have yet to do my cat, (below) but it's in the works, for I can't imagine not having something to remember her by. She's already thirteen, so I don't suppose she'll be with us much longer. How sad! Just look at that little face. We promise ourselves there will be no more animals after she's gone. Yeah, right!

I was asked to do a portrait of "Sebastien", a surprise Christmas present for my friends husband. I guess, from what I've heard, they are (hypothetically) joined at the hip. Man and dog that is. I was offered several different ideas as to what pose would work best. I was in favor of a "looking off to the heavens" type of picture, but the owners wife preferred something more personal. It seems the dog always has to have either the owner or a small token of the owner around him at all times, in this case a sneaker. So . . . . But wait. I was so sure I was right that I drew both pictures for her to choose from. I was nearly sure this would be her choice.

I was wrong! The customer chose the one with the sneaker (below). I guess it's the fact that it's much more personal a memory, and gives a better idea of just how the dog feels about it's owner. "I miss you when your gone." I've had some very happy emails from these folks. I love it! Well, they are friends you see, and friends always send "happy" email.

"Baxter" was a difficult commission since all I had to work with was one small, wallet size photo of him sitting on a deck. No close-up that's for sure. I was very happy with the outcome as was the recipient who wrote me a wonderful letter of appreciation. That kind of thing really makes my day!

And then there was "Tati." What a cute little dog she is. This one was a Christmas gift to my Son and Daughter-In-Law. I really enjoyed doing this one, and it seems easier when you actually know the dog your drawing.

Speaking of gifts. Here's a couple portraits of a few of my Grandchildren, given as Birthday gifts. I should get busy, because I have ten Grandchildren and three Great. These three seem to have a hard time staying out of the pool. I struggled with the fact that I'd have to draw water, which looked a bit frightening, but it came off all right, and was a great learning experience. The power of the lowly pencil cannot be underestimated. :-)

I also create drawings to enter into local art shows and contests. I managed first place and a little pocket money for "Who's Feeder" (below) with the Jays waiting patiently for their meal. I photographed all the main characters at my feeders, in the back yard, then found, and photographed the fence in another part of town. I learned a great lesson with this picture, and I'll never put the edge of one subject (the bird feeder) along the edge of another subject (the fence). This picture is 14"X17".

So, I'll just leave it here for now, and consider my next entry. I just got back from an International Barbershop Chorus/Quartet contest in Indianapolis, and am considering a paragraph or two on that subject next time I sit with this. Till then . . . . . . .

For Information about portraits and a price list, contact:


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