Tuesday, March 31, 2015

CWAGS Scent Trial - Level 1 and Level 2

On Saturday, March 28, River and I participated in our first CWAGS scent trial hosted at Anything Goes for Dogs in Marysville, Ohio. It was a Level 1 and Level 2 search and I signed us up for all 4 runs. I figured if I was going to drive an hour I wasn't going to go for just the Level 1 searches. Besides, it's good practice for River.

I'm happy to say that she got 3 out of 4 Qualifying Scores or "Q's."  She was really excited to be in a new place and I had a hard time getting her focus on what I needed her too.  On the first search, she barely used her nose at all but in the last few seconds of the allotted 2 minute search, she sat down and alerted to the scent.

The second Level 1 search, she did much better.  She still ran around a lot and walked past the scented box several times, but she alerted around 1 minute 3 seconds.

The first Level 2 search was fairly hard.  There was probably 30 items to search. There were chairs, pots, a set of cookie sheets, plastic easter eggs, plastic buckets with easter eggs, and of course boxes scattered about the room.  She had a really hard time staying focused but she alerted to one box and that was it.  The second scent was located in the cooking pot and she sniffed it but continued on to sniff the wall and I didn't think she seemed all that interested in it.  So we didn't qualify that round.

The second Level 2 round had a few less items.  She located both scents in 1 minute 35 seconds and we qualified.

Next trial is April 18, and we're signed up for the Level 2 searches. Hopefully she can find both scents a little easier since she'll be a little more familiar with that location. Way to go River!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Animal Quilt - Polar Bear

This portrait painting was fairly quick and easy. Since I'm getting used to working with the inks and figuring out what works and what doesn't, I'm finding painting with them is getting easier.

What I have the most trouble with is controlling the wicking or bleeding of the colors into others. So I decided I would put down white first for the bear. The white is much more opaque than the others and I thought the blue would have a hard time wicking into it when it dried. 

I mixed some emerald green into the water water and some white into the cerulean blue and got a good mix of aqua blue with areas of depth. And as you can see, the paint goes on much darker or more vibrant and dries a little more even.

I added some blueish/gray to the fur, face and ears and darkened the eyes nose/mouth with dark gray and black. Lastly, I added some blue and white rings in the water. This little painting came together in about 4 hours. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Animal Quilt - Amur Tiger

I wasn't sure about painting this tiger.  I wasn't all that happy with the giraffe and I don't think I'm that happy with this one either. I guess it just lacks color.  Its a Amur Tiger in the winter and white on white or gray is just blah.  All the other paintings have been fairly colorful and I think I'm just having trouble with all the cold colors.  And trying to get the inks to blend in the right shade of tiger orange has been fairly difficult.

I also think its been fairly difficult to capture because it just a big 'ole fluffy animal and its hard to capture. At least from painting the leopard, I've figure out that the black spots or in this case stripes, must be done last and without any thinner. That way the color doesn't bleed and stays as true as possible.

I started with the background. This big cat lives mostly in Siberia and I was going for cold. I added gray, blue/gray and white to the background.

I kept added orange/brown to the cat slowly building up the color. After that I added the stripes in a gray and later retouched them with straight black. My first attempt at the eyes were way too round giving it that spooky startled look. After everything was dry, I went back to the eyes with white and made them look more almond shaped taking away that mesmerized look.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Animal Quilt - Rothschild Giraffe

The next animal portrait is the a baby Rothschild Giraffe. This little painting came together quite quickly as well. I drew the little giraffe and applied the first layer of color of cream or a beige color to the face and neck. Then I applied a darker brown to the squares trying to avoid any bleeding.  Not sure why I started with the animal first instead of the background. I think I couldn't decide what I was going to do yet.

Next, I roughed in facial features and darkened shadowed areas. I did this twice.

Finally, I swirled blue around the background and added a tiny amount of black to the darkest areas, some gray and finally white highlights. I wasn't happy with how the eye on the left came out. It looks a little quizzical and slightly angry which is not the look I was going for but overall not a bad painting but I may have to redo it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Animal Quilt - Golden Lion Tamarin

Oddly enough this little portrait came together fairly easily, much to my surprise.  Maybe I'm just getting better at using the inks?  Once again, I started with a rough outline of my animal. In this case a Golden Lion Tamarin. I roughed in his body with yellow and quickly applied an orange getting the colors to bleed together nicely.

After letting the first application of color dry, I added more layers of darker orange and a deep red and roughed in the branch.

The next layer, I applied a deep blue with hints of purple in the background. I thought this would contrast nicely with the orange/yellow of the tamarin. I also added a gray/tan face, added fur streaks and applied white highlights.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Animal Quilt - Hyacinth Macaw

The next animal in my endangered species quilt is the Hyacinth Macaw. This beautiful bird is a rich, deep blue color and I was worried I wouldn't be able to capture it well with the inks I have. I have one bright blue color. That's it and I could see at least 4 shades of blue so I worried weather or not I'd be able to capture it correctly.

I started with the background first. I think the blue bird intimidated me. I chose greens and yellows since they live in tropical areas and filled the areas with long streaking motions. I also filled in the tree limb with a shade of brown.

Then I generally filled in the bird with blue color not really paying any attention to shades/highlighted areas.

The pictures show more darker blues and even a deep purple blue on the bird as well as more tree limb definition.

Then I added some highlights and yellow around the eye and bill. Now, I had a major problem. Gray from the beak bled into the yellow area and the yellow ink is very transparent and no amount of yellow applied would turn that area yellow. So the white is much more opaque so I painted the yellow areas with white and let that dry.

More dark blue was applied to the bird as well as some highlights. Then I applied a coat of yellow to the eye/beak areas and it worked quiet well. Black was added to the bill/feet.

Here is the final bird.  I wasn't thrill with it but I think I got some good lines with the really dark blue and the white really helps. I think he looks pretty playful too which is exactly how I think most parrots are.