I usually don’t do this…

Back in February I was contacted by F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing Development and Safety) to see if I might be interested in helping with a fundraiser they are having in June.  The help they were wanting was to paint a pig.  As in a little ceramic piggy bank.  Since the organization supports horses and a couple of other farm animals, and most equestrians love farm animals, they decided on the piggy banks for artists around the country to get creative.  The only requirement was that they had to have them by the end of March.

The fundraiser is an online auction that is from June 1 to June 15, 2017.  For tickets (if you plan on being in the area) or more info, please visit their website by clicking here.

I usually don’t do too many fundraisers, not that I am not wanting to give, but I am usually busy or already have my giving lined up for the year.  I gave it some thought and immediately had a couple of ideas come to mind:  a Jump Hog (for the English riders) and a Trail Hog (for the Western riders).  I asked for two and immediately set to work.  Below is a record of the process and the end result.  Would love to know your thoughts on these!

 

Pigs before modifications- Denny Martindale
Pigs upon arrival to the studio
Tools for creating saddles- Denny Martindale
Tools used to create saddles, exclusive of paint

I wanted to mold saddles on the banks, and leave the coin slot opening intact.  I started applying blobs of drywall paste to start forming the saddles.  This had to be done in small applications as the blobs of paste would start sagging down the sides and flattening out.  So, that meant a number of apply/dry sessions to get the desired forms.

English saddle taking shape- Denny Martindale
Drywall paste applied with spoon to start forming English saddle
Western saddle taking shape- Denny Martindale
Drywall paste applied with spoon to start forming Western saddle

Next, it was time to shave with an artist’s knife and sand for a clean, smooth finish to prep for painting.

Western saddle after some sanding- Denny Martindale
Western saddle almost ready for paint
English saddle after some sanding- Denny Martindale
English saddle is ready for paint

I then began painting with latex house paint, added a couple of layers of satin acrylic varnish, and finally added a few adornments for reins and bling!

Jump Hog bank 1- Denny MartindaleJump Hog bottom- Denny MartindaleJump Hog top- Denny Martindale

Jump Hog front- Denny Martindale
Jump Hog, ready for the event!

Trail Hog top- Denny MartindaleTrail Hog saddle detail- Denny MartindaleTrail Hog front- Denny Martindale

Trail Hog bank- Denny Martindale
Trail Hog ready for the auction!

This was a really fun project, and I hope they bring a good price for the fundraiser.  Hope you all have a blessed week!

Abby and Cassie

One of my longtime clients brought me a handful of photos of two of her cats that had passed away to see if I could use them to paint her a portrait of them.  We reviewed them and decided to use one of them as kittens sitting on her bed.  They also happened to be sitting on an afghan that her mother had made for her.  Below are some progress pictures showing the original photo with the drawing, all the way to the finished piece.

Caum Kittens Drawing-Denny Martindale

 

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Thank you for visiting, please feel free to leave your thoughts by clicking on the link to the comments section above!

Pastel Portrait of Leon-From Start to Finish

My most recent pastel pet portrait is of Leon, a beautiful Australian Shepherd.  The portrait was a wedding gift from my client and her sister to their niece and her husband.  When my client and I met, she brought along photographs and the one we decided on was of Leon sitting between his owners, which also happened to be the wedding invitation.  She said if I needed any more for reference, I could visit the website for their wedding.  Most of the photos on the site were of Leon, so  I knew he had a very special place in their hearts!  Below you will see the progress of the painting from the original charcoal drawing I start with all the way to the finished piece.  The painting is done on 14″ x 11″  tan Ampersand Pastelbord.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Charcoal drawing of Leon-Denny Martindale
Original charcoal drawing of Leon
Background, Leon, pastel-Denny Martindale
Background of Leon, pastel

At this point, my client and I agreed to tone the background down a bit more.

Leon in progress 1-Denny Martindale
Starting to add color

Leon in progress 2-Denny Martindale

Leon in progress 3-Denny Martindale

Leon in progress 4-Denny Martindale

Leon in progress 5-Denny MartindaleLeon in progress 7-Denny Martindale

Leon in progress 8-Denny Martindale

Leon in progress 9-Denny Martindale

Leon in progress 10-Denny Martindale
Finished custom pastel pet portrait of Leon, 14″ x 11″, Denny Martindale

Thanks for viewing the progress of Leon, have a blessed day and would love to hear from you!

Pastel Pet Portrait of Peanut, from Start to Finish

I love painting portraits of pets, and animals in general, and I am always honored when someone commissions me to do one of a beloved pet that has passed on, waiting to cross over the Rainbow Bridge.  Such is the case with Peanut Patton, a beautiful little dog that meant the world to his owner Jim.

While I do many pet portraits, I have a tendency to get rather focused on the painting itself and forget to take photos showing the progress from start to finish.  Below you will see the photos of Peanut’s portrait starting with the reference photo and ending with the matted and framed painting.

Peanut Patton photo
Reference photo.  Peanut’s coloring is a little bit ‘washed out’ in this photo.
Drawing for Peanut-Denny Martindale
Charcoal drawing of Peanut
Peanut in progress 1-Denny Martindale
Jim and I agreed to place Peanut in the grass, so the background was blocked in.
Peanut in progress 2-Denny Martindale
Starting on Peanut.

I started working on Peanut, beginning primarily with the areas that would have other areas of fur overlapping them.

Peanut in progress 3-Denny Martindale
From blocking in to establishing a color range of the various shades of fur.
Peanut in progress 4-Denny Martindale
Sometimes the progress doesn’t always look the best…
Peanut in progress 5-Denny Martindale
…but if you continue working it will all come together!
Peanut Patton, matted, framed, and ready to ship-Denny Martindale
Peanut Patton, pastel, 11″ x 14″, matted, framed, and ready for shipping!

I thoroughly hope you have enjoyed seeing the progress, and would love to hear your comments!  God bless!

Elk at Sunset on a Metal Tub

I purchased this large galvanized tub a couple of years ago, and wanted to paint something special on it.  I would look at it occasionally, trying to figure out what I wanted to do.  As I was working on another project, it finally appeared in my head:  the image of an elk at sunset.

I set to work painting the background, and the only thing I actually drew out with charcoal were the animals themselves.  I am quite pleased with the results, and would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Elk, sunset, latex house paint
Elk at sunset, latex house paint
Elk, sunset, latex house paint
Side 2 of elk at sunset on metal tub

Thanks for visiting!

Mural Part II, After

Here are the photos of the mural at the church upon completion.  Once I was done with the painting, I sealed it with Minwax Sanding Sealer to help protect the paint. 

This is a look at the mural before the sanding sealer has been applied.  Note the dull finish.
This is a look at the mural before the sanding sealer has been applied. Note the dull finish.

Once the sealer is applied, it really brings the colors to life.

Farm art, barns, latex house paint, mural-Denny Martindale
Feed stall
Farm art, mural, horse, bluebird, equine art-Denny Martindale
Horse and bluebird
farm art, mural, latex house paint-Denny Martindale
Tack room
farm tractor, Ford 8N, latex house paint, mural-Denny Martindale
Tractor bay

When I painted the mural that had to be removed, I had a good friend, Donna, help me as we had a serious deadline on that one.  We decided to paint her husband’s old Ford 8N tractor next to a horse in a stall.  When asked to redo it this time, I wondered if Donna would want to help me with the tractor again.  On the first mural, we had painted it from the back as though it had just been pulled in.  This time, I decided to reverse it, as her husband Greg went to heaven a couple of years ago.  She jumped at the chance and we had a good time putting it back where it belongs.

Ford 8N, farm tractor, mural-Denny Martindale
Donna roughing in the shape of Greg’s tractor

At the end of the hallway I painted barn doors against the red outside boards of a barn.

mural, farm art-Denny Martindale
End of hallway with barn doors

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of the mural, it was fun to paint.  I love to see the reactions and comments from the children, and everyone has their favorite character. 

 

This Was a New One For Me!

One of the projects I recently finished was totally different than anything I had ever done before.  A client brought me 3 sets of serving tiers.  I am not sure of the proper name for these things (if you know, I would love for you to leave a comment regarding such!).  I have seen them in a small form usually made out of glass or china used to serve small fruits, candy and hors d’ouevres, etc.  They were made of wood and metal, with gold mats to place in the trays.  All were a bit rough and the client asked if I could paint wood grain on them with foxes and hounds running around the edges and some larger ones in the centers as she did not care for the mats.  I said I would see what I could do, so I took them apart and got out my sand paper and latex house paints and set to work.

Art, foxes, hounds,
Here are a few parts of the tier sets ready to be painted

The smallest set was 21″ high, with only one tray that was paintable, as the other two were metal baskets.  The tray measured 15″ in diameter, and grain of the wood was extremely rough, so it required a good amount of sanding prep.  I brushed some paint to get coloring of wood, but the grain was so fine it barely showed through.  So, I painted the grain in with a brush.

Art, foxes, hounds
The small tier set

The middle set was 28″ high and the large tray at the bottom was 19″ in diameter.  This wood was a grade better, but once again the grain did not show through  well at all.  So, again, I painted in the grain, then painted foxes and hounds around the edges and inside.

Art, foxes and hounds
Medium tier set

The largest set of the three was completely different.  The lower tray measured 20″ across and the entire set stood at 30″.  Each layer consisted of a wood tray with deep metal sides.  The wood was much better quality, so I only had to highlight the grain.  However, the metal sides had to be completely painted to look like wood.  These took a bit longer, but I was able to make the figures of the foxes and hounds larger.

Art, foxes, hounds
The large tier set

I seriously think I can now paint foxes and hounds in my sleep!  There are 90 figures on the three pieces, yes, I actually counted.  I thoroughly enjoyed working on these, and found it challenging and fun at the same time.  I almost feel guilty that I am able to do ‘work’ that is so enjoyable!  Notice I said, “almost”!

Art, foxes, hounds
Detail of figures around edges of tiers

Hope you enjoyed viewing these!