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Toffee Ripple Fuzzypants

It's been impossible getting a good image of this finished work on canvas! Because of the gloss finish, a lot of the detail is lost to reflection. But you get the idea, and Toffee's mom was delighted with the outcome.

It's an 8-1/2" X 11" acrylic portrait on canvas in a black floating frame. I use acrylic paint pens for fine fur and whisker detail. They're a boon to those of us who struggle to lay down razor-thin lines in paint. With all of Toffee's floof, there were a lot of lines to paint!

Last week, someone asked which I preferred: analog or digital, and I couldn't answer. I often combine the two, sometimes laying down watercolor backgrounds for bird illustrations before scanning them in and using my tablet and stylus for the bulk of the illustration. My collage work combines a lot of mixed media. My only regret is not being able to perfectly replicate a crow quill pen and India ink on Bristol digitally. I've invested hundreds of hours in developing proprietary digital brushes and paints but it will never be a perfect translation.

That said, there are enormous benefits to digital development. I cannot tell you how many times in the past I've gotten to the 5-yard line, nearly finished with a piece, only to have it ruined by an errant drop of India ink. Not so much a problem with painting--you can usually just paint over--but it can ruin a pen-and-ink drawing or watercolor. Another significant benefit is layering. Most of my illustrations are comprised of dozens of layers. Each can be adjusted for transparency, and you can try different options out before committing to a particular look. And so, despite having a studio packed with analog art supplies (yeah, I am a bit of a hoarder), just as much art is created via my laptop tablet (a Dell Latitude 9420 touchscreen).


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