2019 Winter Giveaway Announcement

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In the fourth quarter of 2019 I ran my pet portrait giveaway. One lucky winner would be contacted in January 2020 and the prize painting would commence. That time has come and gone and the lucky winner has since received their painting. So today I’m announcing the winner and recapping their giveaway painting. If you haven’t visited my site before sometimes I run different painting giveaways. It’s absolutely free to enter and all I ask in return is that you share the giveaway page. If you win I ask that you also share a testimonial and a photo of you with the painting once you receive it. Ok, enough contest details, let’s see who won this giveaway.

The 2019 Winter Giveaway Winners are: Joel and Pam!

After being notified that they won, Joel wanted to know right away if he could get both their dogs painted. Understandably having to choose 1 pet to get painted would be a difficult decision to make. So we worked out the value of the painting and he only had to commission the difference of adding an additional pet. Easy peasy!

(Anyone reading this who may win a future giveaway, yes that is totally and option!)

I loved seeing all the photos Joel sent me. It helped me get an understanding of Jack and George’s personalities. At first our approach was to merge two separate photos together into one painting. This can be difficult because the pose, eye level, and lighting all need to be similar enough to make it appear natural. We ended up landing on a regal shot of them posed together that I think also captures their character in different ways. Below you can see the original photo and the edited photo after I made adjustments in photoshop.

Original photograph.
After edits made in Photoshop.

About the Painting: Jack and George

My approach with portraits is to achieve a traditional portraiture aesthetic. That approach combined with my limited palette meant the hot pink blanket needed to go. But I really loved the red light that reflected off the blanket and warmed the underside of Jacks chin. So to keep that element I changed the blanket to a maroon so it still makes visual sense. It also created a softer transition into the background. Which leads me to my next big edit.

Because we were going with the vertical format the composition had to be adjusted accordingly. Most notably I removed the back legs of Jack’s body because it created too much of a definitive horizontal line across the painting. When there’s unbroken lines across a painting reaching from edge to edge, and there’s no eye movement getting you from the foreground to the background, the painting can look very blocky. By removing that portion it opened up the composition.

I think what makes this painting successful are the little elements throughout that make these two unique. With George you see these amazing flecks of browns in his coat that add dimension and character. His little tongue sticking out is amazing. On Jack the texture of his coat is emphasized by the contrast between the bright sunlight and deep shadows. Additionally you see all the beautiful reflected colors in the white fur. Both are at attention, ready to launch into silly antics at a moments notice.

Receiving their Painting

Joel and Pam loved the painting of their boys. I’m grateful they entrusted me in capturing their character. This is the testimony they sent me:

“Our dog boys, George and Jack, are goofballs, a couple of clowns and comedians. At the same time they are the fearless defenders of our house and ravine. No matter that they defend us from deer, squirrels, cats and woodpeckers. And no matter that defense consists of rushing the windows screaming. There is still courage there and a kind of nobility. Karla Norquist captures that nobility in the gorgeous painting of the boys that she created for us. She has studied the old masters and you can see their influence in this subtle and wonderful creation.”

Be sure to enter for your chance to win next time!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! Future giveaways, blog posts, and artwork are posted on my social media channels. Keep up to date by signing up for my newsletter, follow on Instagram, and like my page on Facebook!

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