Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

Every Picture tells a story – realistic and stylised animals in art from Manic Illustrations


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Painting Stories: Freddie and Digger

So, what is going on in the picture?

Digger the dog and Freddie the Goldfish a painting by artist Diane YoungIf an image captures your imagination you may find your own internal dialogue emerging as to what is taking place in the picture. I make ACEOs with my own narrative  in  mind and often show them to my family and find that they in turn arrive at their own (sometimes surprising ) conclusion as to what they think is going on with the characters in my ACEOs.  

I love to start the story and hope there may be a variety of possibilities for a story to be told.  

Decide yourself what is happening here between Digger and Freddie, and then see below for what I had in mind. My description for this aceo goes something like this : “Digger could not be sure but he thought that Freddie was trying to tell him something…..”

My narrative could have been…. “Looking at Freddie Digger was not sure if Freddie  actually liked him.” but I decided that it would be “Freddie kept glancing at the Fish Food and looking at Digger hoping Digger might take the hint and gives him a little snack!”

Go on surprise me with your story line…..

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Painting for Halloween

ACEO painting for today.

A Painting of characters Harvey the Aardvark & Digger in their Halloween Costmes by Diane Young

Harvey the Aardvark and Digger the dog have got their Halloween costumes ready for tonight.  Digger fancies that Harvey got a better costume than he did!

 


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Digger ACEO and Howling at the Moon

So Digger fancies himself as being a bit like his ancestors, although I am not sure what a Fox Terrier might sound like whilst trying to  howl like a wolf….ACEO Digger & The Full Moon by Diane Young

Whilst designing and painting this image I wondered why there is a plethora of images featuring wolves and a full moon……but it seems is just a human association. “Wolf howls serve as GPS systems, sing-alongs and fire alarms — all rolled into one. In fact, the purpose of wolf howls isn’t terribly different from the reasons humans raise their voices to the wind.”


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Dog Portrait Photographs for a Painting

Dynamic Lines for Composition

I was asked by a friend to paint her endearing little terrier cross called Gus.    Not every photo will make a good painting.  The dog can always look cute, but  the overall shape of the pose can be uninspiring, and less interesting to behold as a final painting.  The outline should be what I would describe as dynamic, that is is must have a variety angles as you would in any interesting composition no matter what the subject.

Gus Commission Dog Portrait

Finding The Photograph for the Dog Portrait

 Getting photos off your client can sometimes be difficult.  They cannot locate them, the ones on their phone are not good enough quality, or the photos they have found do not have that certain “something”.  At this juncture, if you know your client it might be good time to offer to take your camera to them, get out on the common or the park and mooch about taking pics as you go.  You could go for a photo shoot which is a more pressurised environment and may be your only solution, but make sure you snap away and take loads of shots at the dog’s eye level.  It can be difficult for owner to take the best pics of their pooch because their pooch only has eyes for them, the moment they bend to take a good shot Mutley is bounding toward the lens itself!

Gus terrier dog

Cute but…..

The photo here is sooo cute, but look at the outline it is basically an oval.  By accentuating detail in the head  I could have got away with this but it would really be more of a head shot.

This was not what the client had in mind, she wanted Gus on the go which would have been an impossible round indistinguishable shape with all four paws off the ground!

Gus terrier dog

The photo here is not detailed at all and again is a sort of oval shape.

Finally…..

So we settled for an “out in the field” shot, Gus looking very pleased with himself.  I placed Gus centre stage, and enjoyed the detail of showing his happy character.

So if your client is slow to get a photo to you, arrange to get a good number of photos yourself if you can and then offer up the best of what you have which is inspirational for you too.

Gus dog portrait                   Gus Commission Dog Portrait