Sunday, November 29, 2009

Continuing On...

The background continues to progress, hopefully growing into something that compliments the wolves rather than detracting.  Some have questioned the placement of the prominent tree being so central, and while this does go against general compositional rules when I tried moving it around in photoshop I found that when placed behind either wolf it looked like a post growing out of their heads and settled on central positioning as the most pleasant to my eye.  I am still developing the background and do not consider it completed yet.

As you may notice I have continued to make minor changes to the wolves themselves as well, adjusting values and adding more fur.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Backgrounds... sigh

Like many artists, I find backgrounds a bit troublesome.  In scratchbaord trying to create the impression that something is out of focus or not as sharp as your primary subject can be difficult.  And if you don't make it recede from the main subject it can often compete with it, sometimes making your main subject get lost in the mix.  I am attempting to put in some aspen trees behind my pair of wolves.  So far they are started but still need a lot of work.  They are being completed with very fine grit sandpaper.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

2010 Calendar Now Available!

Don't delay, order your 2010 scratchboard calendar today!  This calendar features 12 different images of my scratchboard artwork and is printed on high quality paper.  A perfect Christmas gift to give to others or to yourself!  Price is only $16 (plus shipping).

Click here to go to the page to order your calendars with paypal!  Quantities are VERY limited so order today!


Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful holiday and lots of great food and good company!

The wolves themselves are pretty close to being completed, however I have decided to continue on with the dreaded background, as I think it will make for a more complete piece of work.  I am hoping to get an out of focus effect with the background, not an easy thing to do with scratchboard! 

A bit of glare on this photo...  stay tuned for the background work.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Art and the Animal" Opens in Colorado at The Wildlife Experience

Today I went to pick up my large elk piece called "The Challenger" from The Wildlife Experience Museum, as it was in Colorado Gold show that has ended.  In the place of Colorado Gold is now Society of Animal Artist's "Art and the Animal" exhibit which will travel on to two additional museums throughout the next year.  Last Saturday was the opening for that show as well as "Small Works, Big Impressions" exhibit.  I was not able to attend the opening due to work (grooming) but Connie at TWE gave me a chance to look around today- both shows have some great work in them!  My piece, "The Hypnotist" is the cover image  for this years Art and the Animal exhibition catalog and being used for many promotional materials, which is a great honor!  In addition the work sold at the initial opening for the show in Kansas and won an SAA Award of Excellence!  It doesn't get much better than that!!

A bit more progress on the brothers (and even more work is done but too dark to take another photo tonight).  I am starting to get antsy to start on something new.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another hour or two...

With the approaching holidays my days have been busy, but without too much time to make progress on the brothers. I did get a couple or hours to work on the fellow on the left building up more fur...  I am still debating the approach I will use for the aspen trees that will be in the background.

People always want to see close ups of how I do eyes... so as requested here is a much magnified (the actual size is about the size of a penny or smaller) image of one of the eye on the forward facing wolf.  As you can see it is still all just very fine lines!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More on "Brotherhood"

Continuing on in my journey with the pair of wolf brothers.  Still a long ways to go...

Want to know what tools I have use?

So far in this piece I have used quite a range of tools and blades...
#11 scalpel blade (very fine lines)
#11 exacto blade (fine lines)
ultra micro fiberglass brush (soft fur effect)

Mini Macaw

I started a small 5"x7" macaw piece a few weeks ago that I scratched to black and white and then saved the coloring phase for my workshop that was held on Nov. 7.  I started the color in the workshop and am close to finishing it now.  I may add a bit of simple background to the piece, but have not decided for sure yet.  Fortunately an art and photography friend wants to purchase the piece, so it is tentatively sold (thanks Rita!)  Since this work was sold outside of a gallery, 10% of the proceeds from the sale will be given to an appropriate charitable cause.  In this case the funds will be going to Colorado Parrot Rescue.

black and white before color is added - showing as about 150% actual size


The piece after color is added (colors not quite right) - showing as full size

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Progression of Brotherhood

I enjoyed another evening getting to make more progress on "Brotherhood" last night. The reference photos (it is a composite of several photos) for this pair of wolves was taken at Rolling HIlls Wildlife Adventure in Salina, KS. This was the location of the opening for the 49th Society of Animal Artists "Art and the Animal" show. The Rolling Hills staff was fabulous and very accomodating and I got some excellent references (despite shooting through bars in many cases). They are even going to use one of my photos for a fund raiser that they have coming up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

First Posting

Welcome to the blog for Cathy Sheeter and Aphelion Art and Photography. I will try to post to it at a minimum of weekly with both photos and my artwork, tips and tricks, and the occasional posting of my Belgian Sheepdogs.

I started a new scratchboard a few says ago of two wolves called "Brotherhood". The size is 18"x24" on ampersand scratchbord. At this time I am planning on leaving it black and white. Here is where I am at on the first wolf.

Scratchboard is my primary art medium. For those not familiar with the medium it is a form of direct engraving where a layer of black ink is scratched away to expose a white clay layer below. By scratching more or less lines, thicker and thinner lines different textures and values are achieved.

Check back soon for more updates!