Thursday, December 11, 2014

I GIVE a 10x10" dog portrait away FREE once a month. I thought it would be a simple process, have people post photos on my Facebook page, and at the end of each month I pick the one I want to paint. Easy, right?

I GOT 100 entries the first day. And, for the same reason people like me to go through their FB photo albums, they don't seem to know what would make a good painting. And that's OK – amongst the blurry, low resolution, dark, or unclear photos there are some winners for sure. I don't have much time to comment on the photos, but I want people to know I saw their dog, and then I want to leave a comment on how the picture could be improved. I can spend hours at it.

AND THEN I have to choose only one. Is it the playful puppy that melts your heart or the old girl with her graying face and knowing eyes. I look at color values and composition, but it really comes down to gut feeling and which one makes me want to paint.

MANY of the contestants want to know if their picture is acceptable, so I've started a series of "Giveaway Hints", showing various ways to get better pictures. I think it's working! Suddenly there are many more good quality shots – more photos to put into the "Contender" file. Harder for me to choose.

I WILL choose. I will be happy for the winner, sad for the rest, and I will thoroughly enjoy painting it. Then let's see what next month brings.  

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