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Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

The animal and wildlife forum concentrates on drawings of all animals, from domestic pets to wildlife - anything dressed in fur, feathers or scales. The emphasis is on drawing but paintings are also acceptable.

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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby Laurene » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:45 pm

Really excellent work Krissy! It's no wonder that you're now able to be a full-time artist. Sincere congrats!

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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby PogArt » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:19 pm

I don't know Kenny...
As you have noticed, couple of us still posting in here,and keep in touch...
Facebook is must have I guess to be "visible" to the public ?
This is what I think, and this is the only reason I post on FB - to advertise what I do...
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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby kennyc » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:25 pm

Maybe it's just due to summer. :D
Glad to see you guys here! :)
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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby Mike Sibley » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:21 pm

kennyc wrote:Facebook! Bah! Is that why this place is dead?

Almost certainly! But neither JD nor I advertise TDF and that was a conscious decision. We wanted TDF to grow organically and to attract only those artists who could derive, and hopefully give, some benefit.

FB and its like have their place but I wouldn't give any weight to comments received there - unlike TDF :)
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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby kennyc » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:24 pm

Mike Sibley wrote:
kennyc wrote:Facebook! Bah! Is that why this place is dead?

Almost certainly! But neither JD nor I advertise TDF and that was a conscious decision. We wanted TDF to grow organically and to attract only those artists who could derive, and hopefully give, some benefit.

FB and its like have their place but I wouldn't give any weight to comments received there - unlike TDF :)


Hey! Looks who's here! :D
I'll see what I can do to get the word out. :lol:

Hope all is well with you!
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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby Mike Sibley » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:31 pm

KrissyNZ wrote:Finally got around to fixing the photo of this drawing. Much more true to life :)

Thanks for taking the time to adjust your photo of your drawing. Unlike FB etc, everyone here knows what they're looking at, and can appreciate the skill that went into it. I suspect the majority of FB users won't see past "dog" :)

First, taking your photos was an excellent choice. When I saw the original photo I thought it was worth trying to fix in Photoshop. Alas, no. I tried (mainly by playing with Levels) and I can see the eyes, and nose and mouth detail, but not with sufficient clarity.

Your own photos provided everything you needed and the result speaks for that. I think it's simply superbly stunning. Everywhere I look I can instantly understand the texture and "feel" of the hair; the dribble is wet!; the teeth are correctly three-dimensional; the curling tongue is not only excellently portrayed, it serves to balance the darks on the right-hand side of the mouth; and the glassy eyes, as Laurene mentioned, really are full of life and love.

It's a truly wonderful drawing in every respect.
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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby Mike Sibley » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:00 pm

kennyc wrote:I'll see what I can do to get the word out. :lol:


OK - and thanks! But hold off for a little while. Yesterday I had to upgrade my server to PHP-7 but TDF has to run on PHP-5.6... so it's time to upgrade it.

Unfortunately - for me! - that's a MAJOR update that will have to be done in two stages, and the first is manual. I don't have any spare time for a couple of weeks but I'll do it this month. Hopefully it will all go well, and TDF might even look the same - or better. My biggest problem is I can't remember where I changed the styling or added extra code :)

If I follow the instructions all should go well... but that's not usually par for the course where I'm concerned :oops:

Once that is done I'll try turning new registrations on again, which I turned off after deleting 240,000 spam, mainly Russian, accounts.
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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby kennyc » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:19 pm

I'll stop cluttering up this great drawing thread, but I'm no 'marketeer' just a mention here and there. I know about he spam, it can be horrible!! I'm no longer in the computer/server/software business, but yeah ... Upgrades..... Good Luck with the it! I'll keep an eye on things.

And bact to the topic, this is a WONDERFUL DRAWING of Bella! I love it!
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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby KrissyNZ » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:44 am

Ahaha I love that this descended into computer and software talk! I'm a big computer geek, have been building my own custom machines with water cooling and such for many years now! I really ought to get back into it as I loved building beautiful machines that were colour co-ordinated :D

Thanks so much for the feedback on the drawing everyone! Bella's owner originally was disappointed at the foam in her mouth (after seeing the photos) but once she saw it rendered in pencil, she said it was now her favourite part of the drawing and a bit of a feature! If it wasn't for this drawing, I wouldn't be working part time for the wonderful framing company that the client had it framed by! I owe a lot to this drawing so it definitely deserved to be adjusted and displayed accurately :) I wish I had spent more time on the chest fur but I'd already gone over and above the allotted time I had quoted for (12 hours hah! Open mouths & foam = much more drawing time! Lesson learned)

Starting to think about offering different packages for clients. Along with my now standard 18hr 9x12" drawings, I want to add a "no time limit, create me a masterpiece!" option. I'm sure there'll be people out there that would take me up on that!

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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby Mike Sibley » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:19 pm

KrissyNZ wrote:Along with my now standard 18hr 9x12" drawings, I want to add a "no time limit, create me a masterpiece!" option. I'm sure there'll be people out there that would take me up on that!

If there aren't any now there will be - guaranteed! I think that's a very sensible option and one that will appeal - especially given the high quality of your work.

I think your offer of timed, known price commissions is an excellent idea too, and one I've not encountered before. I'm guilty of doing it the other way round - I always gave estimates and no time frame, which allowed me to give the drawing the time it required, and for me to draw it when I felt the time was right. Sometimes drawing subject B and then subject C would help me to better draw subject A - hence no time frame offered. Also, if I thought I was taking an unnecessarily long time (not sure how to recreate a certain hair type, for example), I'd cut the bill down a bit :)

Was I ever paid well for my time? No. But those commissions paid the bills and helped me improve. That helped enormously when I began to draw heads, and then full scenes, with printing in mind. And it was the prints that made money.

Eventually, I stopped accepting commissions because... well here's a hypothetical example:

1 drawing for 1 person (full scene with dogs)
I please 1 person and make maybe £1500

1 drawing for 850 PRINTS (Limited Edition full scene with dogs)
I please 850 people and (at £60 each) I make £51,000 - plus more for a few remarques and another £3000 for 25 artists proofs at £120 each.

Total time taken: the same in both cases.

Suddenly, commissions were no longer viable. But it was the commissions that taught me my craft, and promoted my name amongst the dog exhibiting folk.
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Re: Bella - Mastiff Commission - Finished

Postby Mike Sibley » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:50 pm

KrissyNZ wrote:Bella's owner originally was disappointed at the foam in her mouth (after seeing the photos) but once she saw it rendered in pencil, she said it was now her favourite part of the drawing and a bit of a feature!


BIG sigh of relief! :)

I was concerned about that foam and its reception - but it was so well drawn there was no way I'd mention it to you.

I have two Black Labs in my open edition prints - one with its mouth open and one closed. The "mouth open" was the first one and people objected to seeing all the gum detail in the mouth... so I closed it :) I was worried you might meet the same reaction, and I'm very happy to hear it turned out well.
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