Christmas Commission Baby Boy

Portrait by Helen Shideler Young Oliver I am on a roll with my Christmas Commissions of a baby.  This is the first off the two.  Initially I had hoped to paint this in oil but I ran out of time largely due to my procrastination and of the amount of travelling I have done this fall.  I really do work best under pressure.  And the pressure is sure on.

The image below includes the photo reference provided by my client.  The colours are distorted by the interior lights.  I find it amazing how much colour distortion there is when shooting inside.  Interesting enough, the photo adobe is a little "cooler" than the painting really is.  And I shot it outdoors on a highly overcast day.

Portrait by Helen Shideler

This is the first of the two paintings I am doing of this child.  The photo below shows the painting in progress.  It is about three quarters complete.  I still have a lot of work to do with his hair and the skin tones.

Portrait by Helen Shideler Oliver is Super



Christmas Commissions Two Portraits

Shideler-Commission 1 Shideler Commission 2 I have finally begun painting these two commissions of a very cute and special little boy.  The photos were taken at two different ages.  I drew them out about six weeks ago and “studied” them.  Really, this fall has been exceptionally busy with travel and visitors.  I even took them to Vancouver in hopes of starting the painting there (nothing happened, I never even touched a brush, I was so distracted by my wonderful grandson).

Then to top it all off, I have been extremely distracted by ravens.  And I really did study the drawings by looking at them a lot, thinking about them and wondering when if ever I would have the chance to start painting.

Back to the ravens. Well, I drew out two ¼ sheet and one ½ sheet variations of ravens from the series of photographs I took in Yellowstone this past September.  One painting is completed (Call of the Raven) and the other two are well underway. They are calling out to me.  Helen come paint.  Forget you have five commissions.  Just paint us.   You know you waaannnt to.  You want to sketch out the large raven you want to paint in oil once you get through these three.

With Christmas being only…oh next month, I finally got at it. My strategy with these two is completely different form my usual. I decided to work on the background and clothing first.  No reason.  I just wanted to.  Ah, who am I kidding? I am still procrastinating. I am doing the easy bits up front and building up to the faces.

Wish me luck.  Time is marching on very quickly.  I promised to deliver these the first week-end in December .  They need some time get where they need to be on time for Christmas.  Eeeeeks

New York Minute (sigh)

Last week, I cannot believe it has been a week already, we had an opportunity to got to New York City!   Pretty unbelievable place.  Although there seemed to be far more people there than I remembered from the last time, the place is WONDERFUL!

And bright! DSC03602 And colourful! DSC03600 DSC03617 We stayed right on Times Square for the first two nights. Right outside our hotel door seemed like millions of people. photo And then moved to Central Park for the next two. photo-2 Took lots of photos, ate really well, walked until we dropped - quite literally!  And took in "The Lion King" as well as The Museum of Natural History and the The National Gallery of Art. Even rain was interesting….we had to take shelter in a pub and wait it out! photo-1A few of the photos may translate into paintings - have a several of couple of ideas! And we left knowing we would go back one day!

Two Times Two

Helen Shideler - Brothers Commission DSC03590_newCommission time.  I was asked to do a portrait of two brothers twice.   This created a challenge for me.  I wanted them to be the same yet different.  Then I had to decide if they should be in watercolour, oil or acrylic. I went with oil and tried out my M.Graham oils -love them.

Being “new again” to oil paint I found this particularly tricky – how to keep them clean and not get the paint all over my hands and thus, all over the paintings.  I was moderately successful. And where I was messy, well you just paint over the mess.  And repeat as necessary and it was necessary!

My original approach was to paint one then start the other.  I was not too far into the process when I realized, ummm nope, that is not going to work for me.  Have to do them both at the same time.  Easier on my head and less wasted paint.

The interesting thing is the likeness is good. But they look slightly different.  The older brother in one painting looks more like him now and the other painting is a good match from the photo reference.  But the photo is a few years old.  Apparently I somewhat aged him appropriately.

Bottom line my client is happy and so am I!


Clandestine Christmas Commission Part 2

Shideler-painting of yellow labFresh off the easel!

Pretty happy with this gal. There was an interesting lesson in this one.  Yellow dogs are not yellow – no matter what you brain tells you!  I started with an under painting of unbleached white with a touch of ochre and I mean a touch! Well, the yellow tint dominated and was hard to paint over and was just not right.  Once I switched to the burnt sienna and white, I started to “agree” with the color.  Now, there are most definitely yellowish goldish & dark  caramel highlights, but this particular doggie is predominately white-ish with beige undertones.

My painting is on the front page of "The Showcase Magazine"

In April I was approached by Nina Ulloa the Publisher/Editorial Director of "The Showcase Magazine" to allow them to use one of my paintings on the cover of the June edition of the magazine!  The magazine is publishes out of Warren, NJ.  Of course I said YES.  I think it looks wonderful - very exciting!
An there is more  on page 4 - you can visit the maagazine by clicking here 

Noah - "Learning to Fly"

This is a painting long in the making - I started it forever ago and just finished it this week. I had Noah painted on the swing - painted some of the grass - and finally went in for the face.  Normally I would have started with  his little face - and if that didn't work out for some reason - well, I would either start over or move on.

This is a painting of the little boy next door - and he is adorable.  I showed the painting to his Grandmother and she turned all red and welled up - you know you have captured the essence of the person when you get a reaction that profound! The painting will be hers!

This watercolor is painted on Arches 300lb paper 12" x 15".