April 07, 2012

Beneath the Guard

detail of On Guard (24 x 12 dry pastel sold)
click for a larger view

On Guard, aka Joe Llama, started out as a very colorful guy on Pastelmat. Since I posted the under-painting for Dibs on the Red Chair, I also wanted to share the colors that went beneath this fella. I find white fur so interesting once I start to study all the stuble colors that are in it and around it and bouncing off of it.

First, I'll show you the uncropped version of the painting.

And, now, the "under-painting"
This guy is also the star of a recent book I published on Blurb.com that is also a fundraiser for Precious Life Animal Sanctuary in Sequim, Washington.

I haven't used this plug-in from Blurb before, so I hope it works okay. It should provide a full preview of the book which includes images of some of my paintings and some prose from my heart.

If the plug-in doesn't work, or you would like to see a larger preview, you can go directly to my book, Fine Art for Animals, on Blurb.com.


  1. The book is beautiful and I hope you sell lots and lots of them!

  2. Your work is just beautiful. I'm going to find the time this weekend to peruse your blog. I'm so happy that I found it.

  3. Wonderful painting, Sandy! I cannot resist taking photos of llamas when I see them; they seem like an irresistible subject to paint. Love seeing the underpainting, too!

    Happy Easter :)

  4. Hi Karen,
    Thank you so much - that is so nice of you!

    Sue, I hope you will enjoy your wanderings - feel free to visit my website, too, if you have time (SandyByers.com). Thank you for stopping by.

    Hi Sonya, Thanks! Yes, they are something, aren't they?! They always look so stately to me. My dad knows some folks who have one living with them like a pet (in the house) and I guess he thinks he's a big dog. That must be hysterical; and adorable!

  5. Great painting Sandy; I particularly like your use of an underpainting stage.

    I love the book you've created. I hadn't heard of Blurb before, and after seeing what it makes possible, the creative juices are swirling around in my head already!

  6. I thought this was a photograph! It's amazing! How on earth did you over paint the white without it mixing with the colours below? :0)

  7. Sandy, not only did I enjoy your beautiful, regal llama and the amazing under painting, your book is fantastic - all your animals are beautifully portrayed. I hadn't heard of Blurb either and I'm so glad you shared this. I was entertaining the thought of doing one book for myself of each year's paintings, using Costco's "My Publisher". This Blurb gives me another option. The price of your book is very reasonable, and I hope you sell lots too!

  8. I absolutely love this painting of the llama, Sandy! I thought it was a photo at first ...I clicked to see it larger and it left me speechless. A beautiful job as always!!!

  9. Sandy I love him! His expression is so sweet, and his fur looks so real! I love all the colors I can see, I can only imagine what it looks like in real life! :) So glad you shared the underpainting too as I always find that fascinating. I'm off to check out your book now. :)

  10. Hi Peter,
    Oh, I'm so glad you're inspired by Blurb! It's so much fun to make the book(s) and they provide a really nice software package that is user friendly and easily customizable. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

    Hi Sandra,the Pastelmat paper "holds" the pastels really well but part of the idea of the under coat is to pull some of those colors up to the top layer - pastels are pretty much controlled with the amount of pressure applied. Somewhat like the way you control oils based on how much paint you put on the brush. Thank you for your nice compliment!

    Carolyn, Hi, thanks so much for that nice compliment! I've used Costco's book publishing, too, but I confess to liking the quality (and the software) offered by Blurb. It has been a while since I've used the Costco one so I'm not sure what the cost difference is and, honestly, they are both nice. I'm just slightly more partial to the Blurb one. I think something else to consider is that if you want to sell your book, Blurb offers nice options (and plugins) to help you do that.

    Gosh, Hilda - you are always so kind. Thank you!

    Hi Crystal! I'm so glad you stopped by. I've missed seeing you and your site. I've been so wrapped up in my studio but I'm heading out to visit soon. Thank you for the kind comment on Joe Llama. He's got some kissable lips, I'll tell ya that much :).

  11. Totally amazing...fantastic rendering of the fur!

  12. I love seeing how you built up the colors to create that fabulous white you show here....totally amazing is right!!!

  13. Wow! Love the llama! Your work has such a beautiful light to it.

  14. Hi Jane, Thank you!

    Cynthia, thanks for stopping by and for the nice comment.

    Hi Gail :) Aw, thanks! You're so kind.

  15. Thank you for sharing. I'm really impressed with your work and the book is great! Look forward to more work from you. I am so grateful for sharing the underpainting... I can really learn!

  16. Gorgeous creature, gorgeous work.

  17. Hi Jessica, I apologize for the delayed reply; somehow I missed your comment. Thanks so much for purchasing my book (I never know who buys them :) and you are most welcome for the underpainting. You can see more of my underpainting work on some of my youtube videos. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/iseehue

    Thank you TSL - that is so kind of you!