Category: Art Materials I Use

“Zoe” Pit Bull Boxer Mix

Here is the Beautiful Zoe I created for my cousin Rebecca. This is Pen & Ink with Acrylics on Animation Cell.

I start with a photo then I ink the drawing then I paint on the back of the cell like you would if you were painting on glass from front to back.

Layering the colors and textures down you can see the different tones I used.

Here is the final piece “Zoe” 11″ x 14″ Pen & Ink with Acrylics on Animation Cell. Call me & we’ll create one of your little baby!

“Tank” the sweet Pit Bull

 

Here is my Cousin Daniel’s dog “Tank” that I painted for him for his Birthday!
This is an 11″ x 14″ matted & framed Pen & Ink with Acrylics on Animation Cell.
I love doing these animation cell paintings. The materials are fun to use, and I’m always delighted by the results.
I’ve always loved drawing with the pen & ink,  you can achieve some beautiful lines with it. The only disadvantage of this technique is that you have to paint backwards so you have to think carefully what you want to see first. Also, its very important that each layer be completely dry or some of the paint will peel off. Its tricky, but once you understand how each of the materials work together its so fun.
You can see the different steps to creating one of these pieces below.
Hope you try it out. If you have any questions please let me know I would love to help  🙂

Cat Cut Outs

        

        

 

Here is Gracie & Sophia, two very sweet kitties that I painted for a client.

These are cut out of wood, I gessoed & painted them in acrylics. It is same process I do for my portraits. They came out so cute! She is going to place them near the doorway that goes into their little cat room. It will be so fun for them to welcome people into their Lair.

Before these two kitties left to their new home, they checked out a few of the spots around our house, and of course I took a few photos. While they waited for their new mommy to pick them up, they sat on my desk watching the “Bird TV” as I call it, which is the bird feeders outside my studio window which get fabulous bird visitors throughout the day!  😉

Paper Painting Party

DSCN8808DSCN8817DSCN8806

DSCN8830DSCN8815My girlfriend Julie introduced me to a wonderful artist named Elizabeth St. Hilare Nelson, please go to her site so you can see the fabulous paintings she creates. She also has a wonderful blog, Paper Paintings. Julie bought her DVD and after we watched it, we decided we would have a paper painting party.

To get started you have to create your own papers because they will become your medium. I decided to paint my image first so I would know the palette~ colors & textures~ I would need.  Then I gathered printer paper, notebook paper & graph paper and went to town painting them with acrylics, you can use any kind of papers you like.

DSCN8841I layerd colors, splattered paint & dry brushed them. I also wanted to have different patterns, I love how Elizabeth St. Hilare Nelson incorporates patterns, stamps and all kinds of cool things into her pieces, but I did not have the time & didn’t want to spend the money to go look for special papers. So I decided to use what I already have. Since this was experimental playtime I wanted to keep it simple, I have  a ton of files that I keep as inspiration, we call them Morgue files, and one of my files is dedicated to patterns. I wanted to keep my original clippings so I decided to photo copy, in my laser printer, the patterns that had similar colors & textures that I was looking for.  Since I know that if I apply any sort of medium or water to  laser copies they will bleed or smear, I seal them by  filling my spray bottle with a mixture of Clear Gesso & Water & sprayed it on the copies. As you can see from the photos above it created all kinds of wonderful textures & colors plus the paper was now sealed. We also gathered colored tissue papers, ribbons, stamps, gold leaf, and all kinds of other things, but I only ended up using the papers that I had painted.DSCN8836

To glue everything down I used Liquitex Gloss Super Heavy Gel because that is what I had and it was similar to what Elizabeth uses. I recommend you getting her DVD for more detail information on doing this technique, it is excellent!

Julie came over on a Saturday morning and we painted from 10am-4:30pm. We had so much fun talking, tearing paper & pasting it down. I have to be honest, when I was creating the papers I thought~ this is a lot of work & I and I don’t even know if I’m going to enjoy this technique, but to tell you the truth once we started creating I found it to be very therapeutic. It is so different from what I do daily that it was like a taking a creative vacation. I loved doing it & I think I will be incorporating some of the papers I painted into my pieces, but I probably will not do final pieces all in paper, because I love using my brushes & paints too much.

In the photos above you can see Julie & I spread out on my kitchen table, the papers I painted and our final pieces. She created a beautiful flower and I created a horse which I named “Soul Seeker”. I embedded the words; Soul, Harmony, Love, Blessed & Believe, hidden within the textures. I also added specks of Gold Leaf into it which gave it a little extra sparkle. For my very 1st try, I really love how it turned out.

I’ve been experimenting a lot these days. Work is slow, and instead of worrying about it I am playing with ideas, mediums and textures. I have to say I’m having a ton of fun doing it too. Its terrific to get out of our comfort zones & try new things, because you never know if a spark of creativity will get lit. Hope you find some time to play because its marvelous for our souls 😀

Golden Luna

GoldLuna

“Golden Luna” is 24″ by 30″ Just finished him.

I’ve had this very ornate frame for a very long time. I found in an estate sale but its quite rough, and I need to repair it, fill in cracks & then I want to Gold leaf it. I think it will be magnificent once its finished although it does look pretty good now up close its a mess.

The painting is on wood. I textured the Gesso as I was sealing the wood creating wonderful surfaces for the paint to hold on to. I’ve layered the colors in my usual fashion, but kept the painting as Monochromatic as I could. Wanted an old technique and look updated with my whimsy. The expression is playful just like my wonderful Luna is.

A Burst of Creative Energy

  • Here’s what I’m currently working on, I’m finally doing paintings of my own animals. Angel the Westie, Sky the Aussie and Luna my horse, the goats are coming in the next batch. They are all at the beginning stages of the painting process, but you can still see the personality starting to come out.
  • The next picture is all the new canvases that I’ve prepared. I started adding colored backgrounds as my base instead of the white backgrounds to see if I like working like that, I’m not convinced I like it yet, but its fun experimenting!
  • Last year, I participated in a Fundraiser for the Humane Society called Barkitecture, and we created a Dog House were I did all these drawings of dogs & cats and cut them out of wood and painted them with acrylics. I created a lot of them, but I left some of them out because there were just to many. I decided to work on them and they will sit in doorways around my house greeting you as you pass them by. They are so cute, specially the Dachshund who is up on his little hind legs ready to greet you and to be petted as you enter my studio.
  • In this picture you can see the other paintings I’m currently working on. I started 8 paintings all in one day, and I’m working on them according to the mood I’m in. Its kind of terrific to go from one painting to the other as I wait for layers of paint to dry. You can also see in the photo the ceramic platters I’ve done in the past. I stopped doing them when I started Maggie’s Angels, but I did love it and sold all of it except these pieces which I could not part with. I still have some greenware ceramic pieces that are waiting to be painted which I might do in the near future.
  • The next 3 pictures are about my Illustrations. I was the Art Director for Shoebox Greeting Cards in Hallmark Cards, Inc. I love this industry and often miss it very much. I did a lot of freelance work for Greeting Card Companies, but once I started Maggie’s Angels I stopped. Well now a days, I bring my sketchbook with me and while I wait to pick up the kids from school & all of their after school activities they are involved in. While I wait, I come up with ideas. I’m developing a card line that will feature animals and whimsical characters. I’m hoping to work on it during the summer while we travel and hopefully reveal it later this year on cafepress and see how they do. I work with pen & ink & watercolors so its compact and an easy medium to travel with.
  • I wanted to show you this little sculpture I bought of this Angel horse. Well it didn’t look like that when I bought it, in fact it was the color of the base he is laying on. One morning I woke up and decided to paint him just like my horse Luna and I love how he came out. I hate to admit this but I often paint over items I find that look like my animals but don’t have the same markings. Don’t tell the Breyer Horse folks but I did that to one of their beautiful horses as you can see from the picture on your right. In the movie Spirit, the Indian horse Rain looked a lot like Luna except she had a blonde mane so I changed her a little bit. I did the same thing when I found these 2 cute little goats and I painted them to look like my little Pygmy-Nigerian goats Trixie & Lightning. I have a lot of fun with it, and I place them around the house were everytime I look at them they make me smile.
  • I hope this gives you a little glimpse of what I’ve been up to in the last 3 weeks, along with everything else in our lives. Sometimes its tough to fit it all in, but when I get these creative bursts I really take advantage of them.  🙂

 

 

Acrylics

                                               

I have a lot of people ask me about what art materials I use to create my pet portraits, and in recent post I showed how I prepare my wood canvases, and about the palette I use. Today I will speak about the acrylic paints I tend to use most often.

I Love Liquitex Acrylics, I’ve used them as long as I have been an artist. I love the texture and pigment the paints consistently have. I use all the different types of consistencies that Liquitex makes. The Heavy Body line, I use for backgrounds and finishing touches, the regular tubes for practically everything, and the Concentrated liquid acrylics for background colors and detail work.  I also love the Winsor & Newton Finity line of acrylics cause I find them to be thicker in consistency. My choices in the paints usually comes down to the colors . My technique is a combination of a watercolor layering effect with areas of thicker more oil paint type of strokes. That is why I love working with Acrylics, you have the flexibility to manipulate the medium to have the incredible unique qualities that an artist style and imagination can come up with.

One thing I do all the time is to look for deals specially since paints wether acrylics, oils, watercolors, guage, or any other medium can get pretty pricy. Michael’s Craft store has 40% of regular price items in most Sunday’s paper, plus they also have 50% coupons on occasions, I take full advantage of those coupons even splurging some times. Hobby Lobby also has some 40-50% coupons and I look for those every week cause any little bit helps.

Let me know which are your favorite paints?

Now back to my paintings  🙂

Sophie’s Time Lapse Video with the new Intro

My multi talented husband, Kent Weakley, has outdone himself this time by creating a brand new introduction to my time lapse videos. Kent is a Graphic Designer, owner of BlueSky Graphic Communication, Inc. He creates major full fledge campaigns for clients which include all aspects of his talents, from Photography, to web design, to media designs, to logo, to video, to book design, he can do it all. I am fortunate enough to have this major talent be my partner for life. Talk about fringe benefits. It is because of him that I am able to take Maggie’s Angels to the next level. My company is not just about the pet portraits it is about the connections I make creating these special paintings for my clients. Kent is able to showcase and create an image for my Angels on my website, blog, Youtube, Twitter, in my Etsy Shop,  my prints, my bookmarks, and all the other projects that come up. If you are looking to take your company, whatever it happens to be, to a professional cohesive level contact Kent and watch your sales skyrocket.


For this video of the Yorkie named Sophie, I decided to talk about creating my portraits, transferring them and the process I go through. I hope it is helpful and fun to watch. I would love to hear what you think. Thanks for watching  🙂

Bailey’s Magazine Debut

Click on the picture above to see this magazine showcasing amazing homes, but starting on page 20 which is the Cover Story you can see one of my clients completely custom home created by Luetgert Development.

A very special Maggie’s Angel’s portrait, created on an 18″ square cement board, made it in the magazine. Turn to page 29 and you can see Bailey a beautiful Schnoodle, in her custom shower/Spa, looking very proud.

What an honor to be included in this extraordinary house and beautiful magazine. Thanks to Carolyn and Steve Grantz.

I had showcased Bailey in a post I wrote in September. If you would like to see more please click on this link.

Bailey’s Private Spa

Bailey's Photo & Portrait

Bailey

 

Your Angel’s Ornament

I created this special ornament as a thank you to one of my friends whose Calico Kitty recently passed away. I must say that I love how she sparkled, just like Camden Mae’s personality.

I made her with Shrinky Dinks, Prismacolor Pencils, and Martha Stewart Glitter

I’m in the process of making much more and including them in my Etsy shop.

If you are interested in having your little Angel turn into a beautiful sparkly ornament all I need is a picture of your pet.

The cost for a custom ornament is $20.00 plus $3.00 for SH.

This could apply to any special occasion and any kind of pet.

Just email me, callmaggie@yahoo.com, and we can discuss the details.

Belleview High School Presentation

I received this message from Sylvia Richardson;

 

I am a big fan of yours. I first learned about your terrific work when you were featured in Ocala Style Magazine. I teach art at Belleview High School and introduced my students to your delightful work. Some tried to do portraits of their dogs using your style. I was reminded again of your work yesterday when I visited a friend in the emergency room at Munroe Hospital. One of your dog portraits hung read more

A New Medium

Here we are in my studio where I’m creating a new portrait of a Jack Russell named Madeline. I wanted to show you my new set up. I’ve decided to videotape the process of painting a portrait using the time lapse setting of my camera. It is a bit bizarre painting with a camera hovering over me, but as I watch the video, I love to see the portrait unfold. I just wish I could paint as fast as the movie shows. Hope you stop by to watch it!

Video of Preparing Wood Canvases

I’m currently working on a group of paintings, and while I was working I thought that you might be interested in the process. So I created this short video to show you all the work that goes into preparing my 8″ x 8″ wood canvases.

I like cutting the boards myself, and since my husband is very handy with the power tools it works out well. We buy a huge 3/4″ thick wood board, and measure the 8″ x 8″ and 12″ x 12″ squares. It takes the two of us to balance and accomplish all these cuts on the table saw. Once the canvases are cut to size, we bring out the router and create a slot so you can hang the painting from.

I then sand the top, back and all the sides of the canvases and wipe them clean.

I set up my studio similar to an assembly line and start Gessoing all the sides of the wood. I prefer Liquitex Gesso because of its consistency. It is important to Gesso every inch of the board to seal it. This way moisture will not affect it.

I apply the Gesso as smooth as I can with a 1″ brush to the top and all the sides. Wait a couple hours until it is completely dry. Then sand each of the sides using a belt sander or medium grade sand paper.

I repeat this process three times. I feel it is important to have 3 layers of paint on all sides for longevity purposes.

I then flip the boards over and paint one layer of Gesso, sand it and then I apply a high gloss black acrylic paint found in the paint section of your hardware store. This gives me the 2nd layer. At this point I’m done, because once I complete the portrait I will apply the last black high gloss layer to seal it.

Now you know why I do so many at a time. The process usually takes 3 days, but it depends on the weather. I live in Florida so humidity plays a big part.

Make sure to put wax paper or regular paper in between each of the canvases so they do not stick together. I store them in a safe place and when I need to create a new piece I’m ready to go!

I love working with wood. It is time consuming, but I love the quality that the wood brings to each of the portraits.

After I finish creating the portrait, I then add 3 layers ofLiquitex High Gloss Varnish to the portrait. The high gloss not only seals the acrylics but makes the colors sing. I love how it looks. Once it is completely dry I flip it over, paint the last layer of black high gloss acrylic paint, wait until it is completely dry. I then Stamp my Logo using acrylic paint and a custom stamp I created. To fish it up I apply one last layer of the High gloss Varnish and its finally done!!!!

 

Bailey’s Private Spa

Bailey's Photo & Portrait

I had the pleasure of being commissioned to create a portrait of the cutest Schnoodle you have ever seen by a wonderful couple. Bailey and her parents came to visit me with a request to paint a 12″ square tile, for a puppy shower for Bailey. We decided to use Cement Board instead of tile, because of the Acrylics. Each time they came to my studio Bailey and my two dogs, Angel & Sky, played, ran and became great friends. They would all get so excited to see each other. It was fun for all of us, because I had as much fun with her parents as Bailey had with my dogs. They finished Bailey’s shower and added her friend’s names and paw prints on tiles surrounding the portrait. What a wonderful idea, it turned out so great. Look at how fantastic Bailey looks in her “Spa”. I love it!

Thanks for the picture Carolyn!

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