Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sighthound special

Sighthounds - their elegant looks, their regal holier-than-thou attitude, their amazing speed and agility - it all makes me admire them incredibly. They're so very different from other dogs. So lets feature a few sighthounds that I've painted recently.

Blue brindle Afghan Hound, with a goatee, on a shell with beautiful pastel orange and grey highlights.

tricolor Basenji, showing off his tightly curled tail.

Graceful white Saluki on a fiery red-orange shell.

Italian Greyhound. Isn't it about time I painted more of the breed I love? This shell will be one of the prizes awarded for Best of Breed at the supported Italian Greyhound entry at the Nor'East Toy Dog Cluster, Classic Toy Dog Club of Western Massachusetts on Saturday, May 29th.

This was a custom order of two ex-racing Greyhounds.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Monday, November 2, 2009

of masked gentlemen, gaggle of jrts, a mysterious cat, and my muses

Lets revive this place a little. Its been quite a few moons since I last posted and yet my stats tell me that people still occasionally visit this blog, for which I am grateful. Perhaps they wind up here by accident but I know I'd rather stumble onto a live blog than a dead one. So for the sake of those people, and perhaps for those that miss us I figured I'd throw in an update :)

As usual - i've been busy! School, work, a lot of dog shows, and a little painting here and there.

I put two new shells into my shop just today. Here we've got two boys hiding behind masks. Or maybe they're girls, that's really up to the buyer to decide.

Here we have a Rhodesian Ridgeback, a sighthound from Africa that was once used for lion hunting, as the story goes. Man you guys should see how intense Ridgebacks are on the lure coursing field, its amazing. i like this breed a lot.

And here we have a Bullmastiff. Now most of the bullmastiffs I've met have been mushy fools, but my understanding is that they will protect their family with whatever means necessary if the need ever arises.

Oh here's a fun one, I painted a custom kitty not too long ago! Okay it was long ago, but I never blogged Java:
P5270001 (by ShellVergel)
Java is an abyssinian, a beautiful slender red cat with huge jade-colored eyes. He is unfortunately no longer with us and I hope this shell portrait will bring Java's human fond memories.

Oh you guys know what else I did? I painted 20 Jack Russells over the summer. Twenty!
Jack Russell Terrier project (by ShellVergel)
That's a bunch in progress.
Here's one of the finished JRTs:
red (by ShellVergel)
You can have a look at the whole set, if you'd like. Why on earth did i paint twenty of these guys? They are for the Gulf Coast Jack Russell Terrier Network!

But enough about stuff for others, I've also been busy taking pictures of the skinny boys. Life as muses is demanding stuff!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Catching up - Customs!

Well, my friend Beth gently reminded me that I have been completely ignoring this blog for the past four months. The shells that were featured as new listings in the last entries have already reached their four month limit on Etsy and have had to been renewed. Seriously, shame on me.

In fact I've been incredibly slow on painting in these months. Schoolwork has kept me occupied and miserable :P

I've had a couple of commissioned portraits to keep me busy though! So I'm gonna show them off :)

custom Sheltie portrait (by ShellVergel)
This is River and Coyote, two bi-black shelties. They are very, very handsome gentlemen. And they're tough little dogs too - River herds cattle! The photo doesn't really do the shell justice, because here the picture looks a bit warped due to the curvature of the shell, and the flash made the shading look very harsh. But it really came out quite nice.

Italian Greyhound, custom portrait. (by ShellVergel)
This is Francesca, a graceful little Italian Greyhound girl. Iggy ears often go in wonky directions throughout the day (my boys can attest to this). But the dogs never seem to notice and continue with their godly attitude. Much like here - Francesca's ear went all funny but she kept a serious look on her face! Silly iggies...

P4260005 (by ShellVergel)
Karen and Yoshi are two brindle greyhounds who are no longer with us. Yoshi was a sweet sensitive boy, and Karen was a bit of a prankster. Unfortunately the shell took a fall and broke. I was able to repair it pretty well, though. Thank you, Gale, for being so patient and understanding!

Serious Cheska (by ShellVergel)
Now this sweet girl is Cheska, a retriever mix rescue. She has the most beautiful eyes and a lovely sable coat.

smiley Cheska (by ShellVergel)
Look familiar? Its Cheska again. Her mum decided to get two portraits, showing two different sides of this pretty girl, one serious and one smiley :)

I've also got a pretty exciting custom portrait coming up that I'm just starting to work on. What's exciting about it? Well, it isn't a dog ;) I'll show you guys when its complete. And next I'll feature some shells that I have painted for my shop.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Some day it will be warm again, I have faith!

So, how are we spending our winter?

oh y'know... desperately waiting for decent weather to return. Desperately. Look at this desperate face...

Soaking any bits of light that come through the window.

To the point where it gets a little pathetic. Irresistably cute. But pathetic.

Plotting to steal the cat food for sport. Props for devouring it all and not getting caught. Hmm...

These feet, they need to run... But they dont want to touch anything too cold.



By the way, if anyone is curious, Anton is feeling much better! His nail is even starting to grow back. All is on its way back to normal.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Patience and paint

So I hope 2009 has taken a good start for everyone. Its been a little difficult here.

One of the reasons is that Anton has a booboo. Yes, a booboo. He broke one of his nails all the way down to the quick. And he hasn't told anyone so by the time i saw it by randomly trying to cut his nails and seeing a big gaping hole where a nail should have been, it had enough time to get infected. So he's had a hefty dose of antibiotics and a bandaged foot.

He's being very dramatic about it. Like he'll be totally fine but the moment he sees someone looking at him he'll start limping. He's been on antibiotics for a couple of days now and I've been bandaging on and off. We'll be checking progress officially with the vet today.

I also have some new creations. The first I bring to you is a custom portrait of Mickey the mini schnauzer...

He is one of my favorite clients at the grooming shop. I've been grooming him for almost four years now, and he's been one of my favorites since the beginning. He is now a sweet, older gentleman. It was an honour to paint him :)

That's Mickey in real life.

Last but not least I've got two new shells in my shop that I haven't yet mentioned here. My most recent addition is this Weimaraner:

I just love how silly he looks - sort of like a teenage pup going through an awkward growth stage. Where their ears are huge and their legs are long and they don't know what to do with themselves to coordinate. I'm sure this funny pup will grow into a very handsome adult some day.

The second shell I've got listed is an Australian Cattle Dog. They've got the coolest mottled coats, these dogs. Very smart, trainable and full of energy.

Both shells above are available in my shop, ShellVergel!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gaggle of new

Heh I've been aching to sit down and paint for the past month. I haven't been allowing myself due to finals at college. Its really a shame but while everyone was out there promoting to death in December, I was forced to mostly ignore my shop all month. And my last (and most difficult) final was on the 22nd, right before Christmas. Yah.

Now I've got a month off so I'm stepping up to painting again. I've missed it! I bring a bit of a variety...

First up is a puppy German Shorthaired Pointer. I just love the green eyes they have when they're puppies. He is painted on one of the largest shells that I've got. Overall, i think the shell came out quite lovely.

The next is a Tricolor Rough Collie with a sorta smiley expression. I just love how contrasted tricolor collies and shelties look, those tan eyebrows are utterly handsome!

Another tricolor beauty, this is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These guys typically have a large white blaze on their face, and the large white spot on the forehead it called the "kissing spot". I really love this breed - their tan eyebrows make them look stern but they are some of the happiest dogs I have ever met. Their tails just don't stop wiggling. He is painted on a delicate soft shell clam.

The last one is a shell i painted as a gift. I don't often do this but it was for a secret santa gift exchange at my favorite online forum. Harley is my giftee's heart dog who passed away from cancer last year, and i knew she would appreciate it.

The Harley shell is also my first official ornament. I got the idea from a sale that didn't quite happen. Someone had asked me to make a shell into an ornament and i had to practice by drilling holes in a blank shell. The sale fell through, but i had a shell with holes drilled into it and i had the idea to make what you see above :)

The shells are available for sale at my shop, ShellVergel! With the exception of that last custom girl that was a gift for someone.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy holidays, folks

I'm a little late and my blog has been a little dusty lately, but I just wanted to say that I hope everyone is having a good bunch of holidays this season :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Hearted!

It's official! My shop Shell Vergel has reached 200 hearts! I'm glad you like it guys :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy birthday boys!

Once again, I must apologize for my month-long absence. It has been a rather difficult month for me, with a lot of things going on. Also its been unforgivingly cold outside! I never liked November anyway.

But there is one excellent thing happening in November - Marco and Perry celebrate their second birthday on November 25th! Can you believe it? The skinny boys are two :)

And you know what that means - we need a flood of baby pictures!

They've changed so much. I wish i had a chance to meet them when they were all small and squishy. I met the boys for the first time when they were just a hair younger than six months old and they were almost full grown already. BTW if you want to know who's who in the baby pictures - Perry is the only red puppy and Marco is the only black and white baby with no blaze on his face. He just has a white nose tip, while his other two black and white siblings had a full white stripe.

Just for kicks, here's what the boys looked like when i brought them home! Here they are at the breeder's house at 6 months old...

And here are my stunning gentlemen now...

Happy birthday skinny boys!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cove, the Wii, and spots!

A quick mention of a custom portrait I made for Emily of Dreameyce. Meet Cove the catahoula leopard dog, and Kiwi the teeny pretty pit bull!

The shell has undergone some minor alterations to make Kiwi look a bit more like herself. This is a shot of the shell before it was finalized. But you get the idea. The shell looks even better in person, if i say so myself!

Also, another new shell up in my shop! This is a Dalmatian on a soft shell clam.

I love how he came out. Soft shell clams are a great canvas - their texture is almost paper-like and they're so smooth, they take to paint really well. Alas they're brittle. I coat the back of the soft shell with varnish so that they have a little more strength to them. This guy is on a fairly large soft clam (their size range is different from my typical Atlantic clams, and this guy is one of the bigger ones I've painted).

The dalmatian is available in ShellVergel!