Process

Stifler

I had the pleasure of completing a commissioned portrait of Stifler, a Red Fox lab who lived to be 13 years old. He was described to me as a sweet, good natured dog who liked to climb under people’s legs as if never realized how big he grew. Stifler was well loved and treasured. His owner was known for standing in line for hours to get Stifler a BBQ birthday meal from Austin’s beloved Franklin’s.

See below for images of the entire process starting with the main reference photo and ending at the final, framed piece. I begin with a loose drawing in my sketchbook, scan that into my computer and manipulate it a bit if necessary, print that, transfer it on to the final watercolor paper with a light box, then complete the final drawing, paint it, and frame it.

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Send me a note if you are ever interested in a commissioned pet portrait.

The Messenger

My dad is a professor at San Antonio College. He teaches an Anatomy & Physiology course as well as a Biology course. On the first day of class he introduces himself to his students by describing his family and when he talks about me he shares images of my art.

One of his students emailed me a while back and asked if I would make her a painting for her father for Father's Day. She asked for an eagle. When I asked why, she described her father fondly explaining how he is an immeasurable source of strength for her, that he is a fierce but peaceful man. I thought an eagle was a very fitting visual metaphor for how she saw her father.

I think this makes for a perfect 4th of July post!

Below are some photos of the process and the details of the final piece. You can see the final piece in my gallery here and prints are available here on my Etsy shop.

Lovely Little Succulent for Tom & Farah

Our friends, Thomas and Farah, recently got married. He's an Art Director, she's a Doctor, and they met through Instagram! They both take really wonderful photos. If you are a fan of Instagram be sure to follow Tom and Farah's feeds. You won't be sorry.

We had the pleasure of attending their Bangladeshi wedding and to celebrate, I painted them a succulent and Ryan built the frame. Below you will find images of the original sketch, the transfer of the sketch via light box, the final drawing, the painting in progress, details of the piece, and the final piece framed. I really enjoyed working on this, so keep a look out, I'm going to start a series of these lovely, little succulents!

 

Succulent Painting by Chloe Yingst |  chloedraws.com
Succulent Painting by Chloe Yingst |  chloedraws.com
Succulent Painting by Chloe Yingst |  chloedraws.com
Succulent Painting by Chloe Yingst |  chloedraws.com
Succulent Painting by Chloe Yingst |  chloedraws.com

Ties that Bind

Kate Iltis from EmDash gave me a ring a few months ago and asked me to make an illustration for an essay in the Texas Observer. I had a great time working on it and thought it would be nice to write a post about the entire process. You can read the full essay here. It's a wonderful story about an unlikely relationship between a mother from El Paso and another mother, Perla, from the dangerous Ciudad Juárez. Perla crosses the border to make money for her family by selling avocados, limes, and guavas to Americans. She befriends the narrator of the essay and the two women become extremely close despite their different backgrounds. Eventually they lose touch and after 20 years or so they reencounter one another. The essay describes this meeting. The narrator learns how different Perla's life has been than her own. Perla's children, the ones the narrator use to bath in her own home, are all grown up and unfortunately apart of very violent lifestyles. Regardless of their differences the two women are very supportive of one another.

I created two concepts for the illustration for Kate and the Texas Observer team to choose from.

Concept 1
 
Image of fossils mingled with bullet casings in the foreground, El Paso/Ciudad Juárez landscape in the background.

One of Perla's children, a seventeen year old extortionist, shows the narrator his collection of fossils. He doesn't understand what they are and when the narrator explains, he is baffled at the idea that they were once sea creatures. Just as the origin of the fossils is unexpected so is the relationship between the narrator and Perla.

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Concept 2
 
Image of a female blue bird protecting her nest. Her young are blue, sleeping snakes.

The narrator may be from the other side of the border, but she still cares deeply for Perla and her children even though they lead a more violent life.

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Kate and the team at the Texas Observer choose the 2nd concept, the image of the bird protecting a nest of snakes.

Below are shots of process for making the final piece. I use the initial sketch for reference and redraw it out larger. This stage of the process is the most important. It is where I make all of the decisions on how everything is going to layout. After I complete that drawing I transfer it with a light box on to the final watercolor paper. Next step is to paint! This is the most relaxing part of the process. At this point, most of the major decisions have been made and I get to watercolor away. By the time the piece is complete, I've drawn it 3 times: the first sketch, the larger drawing, and the transfer to the final paper.

The next set of images are shots of the process.

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The final piece.

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And here it is printed!

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