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     Ok, now I think I am finally done with my panther!   I had my mentor critique the painting like I mentioned and he had several suggestions.  First let me state that this artist worked for Ducks Unlimited for several years as an artist and now judges wildlife  art shows.  So he knows what he is talking about!!  He said if this painting was going in a show that it needed more.  By more, he meant wrinkles!  Yes, wrinkles.  All animals have them, and they are what make the difference between so-so paintings and really good paintings he said. Second, he said his eyes were open too wide.  Real cats don't open their eyes that wide.  And third, he needed to have greenery around and in front of him to settle him into the painting.  No real cat would be exposed like I had mine.  The good news was that he said it was good SO FAR.  So be it.  It was back to work for me!  I took several more days of work but I think I have it now!

     This is the picture I was working from.  (Yes, I got permission. )  Jerry said to work as closely to the picture as I could (except I could change the color if I wanted. )   As you can see, the cat is laying down and turned back on himself to see the photographer.  This is how I finally decided to paint him.  After a month of work  I am ready to show the final painting!!
     Just look below and tell me what you think.  Feedback is welcome!!

16 X 20
by Dara Dodson
painted from a photo by Steve Kaufman


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Sale prices will be in effect until all these paintings are gone!

        I will accept cash..or a credit card.  If local, pick or or delivery has no shipping charge.  Shipping for 11x14  or smaller should be no more than $8-$15 (USPS priority) depending on where you live. Larger paintings will be more.  I recently shipped an 18 x 24 painting and the shipping (UPS ground) charge was very reasonable ($35) REST ASSURED I WILL SEND THE CHEAPEST ( while still safe) WAY POSSIBLE!

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                                   THESE ARE ALL ORIGINAL PAINTINGS!


     It has been a while since I showed the steps I go through to produce a painting.  I am working on a large one right now, so I decided this one would be a good candidate to go through this process again for those of you that are not familiar with it.

     A friend posted a photograph on social media of a scene on the central coast of Florida.  I really liked it, so I asked her permission to paint it and she readily agreed.  This scene is of huge cumulus clouds over the sand dunes.  I knew I wanted to focus on the clouds so I chose a canvas that is 36 x 48 gallery wrap.  I have the photo below.  This is a really nice photo, but the painting will be done in lighter colors I decided.

     I painted the entire canvas a light blue for the sky including the sides.  After it dried, I went back and it was darker than I wanted (acrylics dry darker, remember) so I went back over the top third with a shade lighter…

     Over the past months I have been giving you information and suggestions on how to approach galleries for representation.  Hopefully you have been putting this information to work for you. I had been too busy painting to actually do it myself.  I wanted to have enough work built up (20-25) that I felt was gallery quality before I applied.  Finally, I felt that I was ready and started researching galleries that were in line with my art style.  
     I decided to approach a gallery outside of St. Augustine because galleries here are large and have many national artists.  This makes it more difficult to get representation.  So landing a gallery outside this area first gives me more credibility in the St. Augustine market down the road.  Keep in mind that many artists are represented by multiple galleries!  
     Following my own advice, I researched galleries and the artwork they carry.  I looked at all the artwork on …