Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Sage, originally uploaded by debifitz.

pastel on suede
private collection
actual size 11"X14"

My last surprise christmas present! Hand delivered... the client loved it! Yeah! This one was a little more difficult than I expected... all that white... or actually lots of color on a white dog. So many shades of pink and purple. I really have to be careful that all the grays, pinks, purples, and browns don't become dirty looking. After I had the head done, I thought it would al be a breeze... but all the swirls in Sage's chest kept me busy all last nite and half of today!! I debated whether or not to put her collar in. Finally decided she looked naked with out it! Plus it matched her so well!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Jake, originally uploaded by debifitz.

pastel on suede
private collection
actual size 15"X20"

This is another of my christmas present commissions. I just heard that the recipient loved it! This was done from the client's photo... and a really good one at that! I really liked the background... Didn't change a thing from the photograph. It was really nice to have a good quality photo to work with... not always the case when the photos are supplied. This dog had passed away last year and was commissioned by the owner's daughter.

I worked on the darker grey suede... as you can see from the edges.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Sketch, originally uploaded by debifitz.

pastel on suede
private collection
actual size 16"X20"

This is one that is a surprise christmas present. I was given a photo that was taken at a studio with a very pink back ground. I assume that the owner likes pink and the little dog just seemed so happy that I decided to do a flowery back ground... might have gotten a little carried away. But I think it reflects the dogs personality.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sammy, William, & Greta

Sammy, William, & Greta, originally uploaded by debifitz.

pastel on suede
private collection
actual size 20"X26"

This sweet little portrait is even more poignant in that, the dog, Greta started having seizures about 2 weeks after we shot the photos for this pastel. They were not able to control them and she had to be put to sleep. She was a very sweet and special dog... She had been at the mother's side through many tough times. And as you can see here, dearly loved William. She is missed.

I did this on suede matt board again... too pressured for time to experiment with other surfaces right now. This one was not too bad though. I did it on a lighter board, as there were no really dark areas to contend with.

I still have 4 more small pastels to complete for christmas... but 2 of them are not surprises and there for I don't have to kill myself to get them done in time! They may end up as new years presents!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Reggie, originally uploaded by debifitz.

pastel on suede
private collection
actual size 20"X26"

This portrait was a little more difficult... the dark animals are just hard to get nice and rich looking. Plus, it seems that my computer is not in sync with my photo printer... the prints come out darker than I see them on the monitor. Eventually I will have to have some one come out and fix that. I can work around the problem until then. Working on the darker suede has helped with the blacks. But I am still trying some new surfaces... I just hate trying them on client work. If I am not happy, I end up starting over on the suede instead of trying to work out the problems.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tux, Magnolia, & Donald #13

Tux, Magnolia, & Donald #13, originally uploaded by debifitz.

finished pastel on suede
private collection
actual size 20"X26"

Done and shipped! The frame turned out a bit golder than I remember the sample being. But I still like it... It was framed by Roger's Frame Shop here in Ocala. He has been doing all my work for the last 25 years. He does great work and is a good friend.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tux, Magnolia, & Donald

Tux, Magnolia, & Donald, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Finished and off to the framer! I took photos of this outside in the sun light... so it is a little different color than the others... which were shot off my easel. And I think it is a little dark too. But close enough! I will add a photo of it in its frame when I get it back.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tux, Magnolia, & Donald #12

Tux, Magnolia, & Donald #12, originally uploaded by debifitz.

pastel on suede
private collection
actual size 20"X26"

almost there! Still need to work on Magnolia (shoulder and body) , the grass, and then pulling it all together.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tux, Magnolia, and Donald #9

Tux, Magnolia, and Donald #9, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Getting there... I showed this much to the client... she was very happy with it so far.....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tux. Magnolia, and Donald #8

Tux. Magnolia, and Donald #8, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am ready to hibernate now!! But too much work to do!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tux, Magnolia, and Donald #4

Tux, magnolia, and Donald #4, originally uploaded by debifitz.

This is moving right a long. I am enjoying the beautiful shades of grey in Tux... lots of different blues and purples!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tux, Magnolia, and Donald #1

Tux, Magnolia, and Donald #1, originally uploaded by debifitz.
Oops... this is actually the first one of the progression. And I will add the photos that I used to the post also. I actually photographed the horses in Tryon, N.C., using a brush to sit in for Magnolia! And then Magnolia later in Wellington, Fl.. I chose to do a different head shot of Magnolia on a different body. The expression was just better...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tux, Magnolia, and Donald #2

Tux, MAgnolia, and Donald #2, originally uploaded by debifitz.

This is a progression I did of 2 horses and a dog. I photographed the horses in Tryon, N.C. and the dog in Wellington, Fl.. Unfortunately, the dog, Magnolia, had to be put to sleep a couple of weeks after the photos were taken. Very sad! She was dearly loved. I tried to get this done in a record 4 days... not to be! I took the progression photos to help me keep going. I did 2 "almost all nighters"... I am really getting to old for those!! I had down loaded some great new music (Joe Bonamassa!!! WOW!!! Blues guitarist... amazing!) onto my Ipod and rocked the nights away... but it still did not get done!! Oh well! I finally have time to get them on my blog. I will down load the photos tomorow.....

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Dottie, originally uploaded by debifitz.

pastel on suede
private collection
actual size 16"X20"

This is the cutest little dog! The white can be a problem in the photography end of things... thank goodness for photo shop and shooting in the raw format. I was able to shoot in the sun and still manage to get some details. Otherwise she would have become very flat. And it is also a real challenge to keep the whites clean when working on the suede. I used the warm grey suede for this one.

I have been on a research mission to find new paper to work on. So far I have tried Wallis... and LOVED it! I have ordered some of the museum quality paper to work on my next big piece. It has a light golden retriever in it which I think will do well on that paper. Plus I have a dark bay horse in this same portrait along with a flea bitten grey horse... since this is from one side of the spectrum to the other, I think the Wallis is my best bet! I should be able to get my darks, dark and whites, white. Will try to do a progression on it and post them here. I plan on doing an under painting on it also. Really looking forward to it!

I have also seen some gorgeous work done on Royal Sovereign pastel card... but I can't seem to find it. After spending WAY too much time on-line looking for it. I did find some references to it from Cornelissen's art supply in GB... Royal Sovereign is also know as Frisk pastel board, "old" Sansfix, and Rembrandt pastel card. None of which I can get in the US. Finally I found one more supplier in England that made reference to it and states that it is now Sennelier la carte pastel board... that I could find. So I have ordered a couple of boards to try. Sounds interesting... made out of vegetable flakes...? Unfortunately, you can not use wet media on it. But it comes in some very beautiful colors.

In the mean time I have seen some very beautiful pastel work on-line while conducting my search! It has been fun!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


DaVinci, originally uploaded by debifitz.

pastel on suede
actual size 16"X20"
private collection

This is my very latest... one of my last on suede... I hope... but it did come out really well and was not too much of a labor.... I am thinking that there will always be some subjects that will do well on this surface... those that are not too dark and not too light. Also this is a very beautiful horse... never hard to do these! It is a surprise birthday present for a friend... he had been hinting to his partner about having this horse done by me and exactly how it would look best! I was very happy to oblige!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Rusty&Vivi, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Here is my latest pastel... done on suede mat board. I have a few that are already drawn on the suede, so I can't switch over to the Wallis sanded paper just yet. But it was a little hard going back to the suede after working on the Wallis sanded paper. I kept thinking about how much fun it had been to work on the Wallis as I was working on this one... luckily these subjects were not a problem to do on the mat board. I do have a horse portrait already started, that I think I am going to start over on the Wallis. The horse is a dark bay and I am doing the full body... hard to get the detail and richness in the coat with the suede. I am ordering some larger sheets and am going to try the museum quality Wallis. They say you can actually scrub this paper!! Sorry that it does not come in the "belgium mist" color... but this next one will have a back ground any way. I am looking forward to doing more under painting on those! Also the paper comes in different sizes than I have been doing the last 20 years!! Going to have to re-do the price sheet!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Junior & Taco

Junior & Taco, originally uploaded by debifitz.

This is the pastel I did for a project that is very dear to my heart... and kind of my brain child! My two dear friends Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw have this amazing charity or maybe it is more of a calling... but they rescue unwanted, forgotten, and abandoned dogs. They have always been the ones that would pull over on the interstate to pick up some poor dog running loose. They bring them into their own home, use their own money and clean them up and fix whatever needs fixing. Then they either live with them for the rest of their lives or they find wonderful homes. They really kicked it into gear after Katrina. To date they have found homes for over 2000 dogs! They were honored by the ASPCA a few years ago for this achievement. A few years ago they started doing a calendar using photos of 12 of the lucky dogs. I was asked to do one of my "quick" watercolor/gouaches for the cover.... They (bless their hearts!) think I just whip them out!! HA! This last one took about 4 very long days! (the previous blog entry is the most recent calendar cover) But this year my brain child was to bring together 12 artists to do portraits of this years 12 lucky dogs and make it an art calendar as well. It should be coming out the middle of november. We started it off pretty late... had some problems getting good photos. But I think it is going to be great. Next year I hope to get a much more varied group of artists, do it earlier, and have the art displayed in a gallery... just have to find the right gallery. Ron and Danny are horse trainers (hunter/jumper) and the event would have to be done around a horse show. I will keep every one posted!

AND this is my first attempt on Wallis paper! I loved it!!!!! I have really been getting tired of the velour surface... having problems with the darker colors and losing some of the richness of the others. I also love the idea of doing some mixed media on it. Just hope the clients love it as much as I do!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

DannyAndRon'sRescue Calendar

DannyAndRon'sRescue Calendar, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Gouache on clay board
actual size 16"X20"

This is the cover for the calendar.... I was going for a "where's Waldo" kind of thing... lots of dogs filling up the picture... But after about 50 dogs I had to call it quits! The calendar is for their dog rescue charity... they have rescued and found homes for over 2000 dogs to date! The inside of this years calendar has 12 artists (including me!) doing a portrait of 12 lucky dogs... one for each month. It should be coming out the middle of november.

This is the first time I have done gouache on clay board... it had its pros and cons. It is real easy to lift "bad decisions" off... but on the other hand it is really easy to "accidentally" lift something "brilliant" off! Of course it is always "brilliant" when you accidentally lift it off! The pencil drawing did not smear off as I was working ( a plus) But I also had problems getting rid of pencil marks that were showing thru the gouache. I definitely had to develop a "touch" with the paint brush on this surface. But once I got the hang of the clay board, it went pretty well.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Joe&Fred finished... almost!

Joe&Fred finished... almost!, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Alrighty then! I would say this is about 98% done! I really don't think I am ever done with my work... I can always find something I want to change. I want to touch up Joe's hair line just a tad and work on his hands a little bit more. Maybe a couple more tiny things in the back ground.... I can do this forever! Luckily, the client is having me do the framing for her. So it is here waiting for the frame to come in. I am really so pleased with the way this one turned out!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Joe and Fred #6

Joe and Fred #6, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Almost there! I still want to work on the back ground... not crazy about the trees... would like to soften them up a bit. It is a different back ground than I have ever done before... jury is still out on that! Also need to work on Joe's face and hands... a little more on Fred too. Basically little bits every where! Some times this stage takes a while... lots of painting and looking!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Joe and Fred #5

Joe#5, originally uploaded by debifitz.

I worked on Joe some more and his hands and ankle... I am so pleased with the way this painting is coming together! It is a lot of work because of the size, but I have really worked to stay focused while painting and to just have fun with it. The ferns have been driving me a little crazy... down in the bottom right corner. And I have some issues with the back ground... just not happy with it yet. But it will work itself out.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Joe and Fred #4

Joe#4, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Here is the fourth installment of Joe and Fred's portrait. Worked some more on Joe and got started on Fred. One of the cutest things about this portrait is that they seem to have matching beards! I love painting scruffy dogs! They are so much fun to do... i usually paint the mid tones with an emphasis on the darker areas... then I just keep layering... doing the high lights last.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Joe#3, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Here is my latest installment of Joe's painting... and I now have his companion's name! Fred! Ha! Another Fred! He is a little smaller than my last two Freds! Obviously I have been working on Joe's face. I am always a little nervous about people wearing glasses... but Joe's glasses are pretty minimal and there is no glare on them. So it should not be too much of an issue. I usually just try to paint what I see and not what I know... that always gets me into trouble. Joe is a really cute guy and has been fun to paint... Wait till you get to see Fred! He is really cute!! Stay tuned! Hope everyone is having a good labor day weekend!

Monday, August 30, 2010


Joe#2, originally uploaded by debifitz.

After working on Joe's pants... lots of great colors... purples, pinks and blues. Not exactly what you would expect from khakis.

Fall is right around the corner here in Florida! I love the way the air changes. it is only just a hint. But the temp drops a couple of degrees and the humidity lessens. The air actually smells different! Just when I have lost my patience with summer! But I guess everyone around the country feels that way too... it has really been one long hot summer! I am ready for the cooler temperatures!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Joe#1, originally uploaded by debifitz.

This is the first couple of days... the painting is 36"X48"... so it is taking a bit of time to get the first coat of paint on! These ferns are going to give fits! I can tell already! The back ground is a little different with all the yellows and bright greens... should be fun!


Joe, originally uploaded by debifitz.

This is the main photo for the painting I am working on now. I have a better face for Joe from another photo... but everything else is coming from this photo.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Frederic, originally uploaded by debifitz.

This is another pastel that I completed several weeks ago. This is Frederic again!! I have now done his portrait 3 times! I guess that practically makes him famous!! Those that know him think so too!! I got to pick out the framing for this one! That is always a treat for me... so many of them I never see after I ship them out. But this client (along with several others) love my framer. And they trust my taste in frames. I have another one to do for this client/friend. She is one of several clients that have become good friends over the years. One of the perks of this business!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Player, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Been gone for a while... I had a trip and came home to having to buy a new computer..... :( !! What an ordeal! Much more aggravating than starting from scratch! I love my new computer... got a mac mini... really nice.... so much faster!! And I have been blaming my broad band connection this whole time!! It has been the setting up that has been the source of my irritation! I have been having an awful time trying to get my printer and scanner to work on the new computer. Been on the phone for days (it seems like!!) with epson and apple! Managed to get the printer going... still working on the scanner. And then I had to upgrade photo shop... CS2 would not run on my lap top and definitely not on my new mac mini... so had to do that too... of course that has been fun... so much new stuff to learn. And of course now I need a whole new library of books! Anyone need some books on photo shop CS2?!!
So I will be putting 2 new pastels on the blog and I am working on a large oil painting ... which I will be doing a progression for the blog. So more posts to come!
This is a pastel of a lovely hunter named Player. It is done on suede mat board and is 20"X26".

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jenna & Frederick #10

Jenna & Frederick #10, originally uploaded by debifitz.

O.K.... this is pretty much finished. I do want to do a tiny bit more to Fred's head. I always see something I want to change or tweak a bit when I take a photograph. Actually, it is hard for me to actually say a painting is "finished".... they never truly are! The hardest part of this piece is Fred... all the black... there are so many different shades of black and they all dry differently ... some glossy and some matt and everything in between! I will spray the painting with a retouch varnish to protect it and also to bring all the sheens up to just one. It also makes it look richer... almost like the paint is floating on the canvas... I love that part! This piece is also going to be professionally scanned before it ships so the clients can have a few gicleas made.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Jenna & Frederick #8 detail

Jenna & Frederick #8 detail, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Here is a detail of Jenna and Fred.....

Jenna & Frederick #8

Jenna & Frederick #8, originally uploaded by debifitz.

I am happy with Jenna... still working on the back ground, Fred and grass. Everything is where I want it ... I just want to make them richer... adding more color to the back ground and to Fred. Black horses are hard... photos tend to not give you much detail... luckily with digital and photo shop I shoot raw and I am able to pull more out of the shadows so I have something to paint. I very rarely use black out of the tube. I make my blacks with Paynes gray and either burnt siena or some other reds or purples. I will also throw in other colors to get the look I want.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jenna & Frederick #6

jenna06, originally uploaded by debifitz.

I worked on Fred and the background some more. If I were to put a horn on Fred forehead, it would be a fairy tale painting!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jenna & Frederick #5

jenna05, originally uploaded by debifitz.

This is the fifth in the series... the first layer of paint is done. I know a lot of artist block in color for the first stage and that is the "proper" way to paint... but, I always hated that part! So I tried working in some detail right from the beginning... I think it works for me! I am very happy with the progress of this piece "so far"...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jenna & Frederick #4

jenna04, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Here is the fourth in the progression... coming right along.......

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

jenna & frederic #2

jenna & frederic #2, originally uploaded by debifitz.

This is a close up of the last entry...... The painting is 22'X28" on stretched canvas.

jenna & frederic

jenna & frederic, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Well, this is what I have been working on lately... I am going to start posting a progression of a painting of Jenna and Frederic. It has really been fun to work on! If I just add a horn in the middle of the horse's forehead, it will look like a fairy tale! I stared with this photo so you can see a little of my work space!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Emily & Sparky

Emily & Sparky, originally uploaded by debifitz.

I have been away for a while. I was off shooting photos in the Carolinas for some clients and for my two good friends, Ron and Danny. Last year I was honored to do the cover for their calendar benefitting their dog rescue charity. I get to do it again this year! So I got to spend a day taking pics of them and a few (20 or 30!!) of their dogs. It is always fun to be with those two. They are so busy between their horse training/show schedule and dog rescue that it was a real treat to have their total attention! Plus I have convinced them to have different artists do a portrait of each month's dog instead of the photos they have done for the last few years. And of course I offered to help organize this... now I just have to find 11 artist that are willing to donate a portrait to the cause! I want the artists to be fairly diverse in style to make it interesting. So I guess I should be hitting the web to find some neat artists! Shouldn't be too hard! It is such a great cause. If anyone wants to check out their work, here is their website....

This portrait is my latest... Emily and Sparky. It was a fun one to do since being off for a while. I am working on a couple of paintings and one other pastel right now. Trying to juggle all three and not getting a whole lot done it seems. I am going to try to take some progression photos of the paintings. So I will be posting them... just as soon as I am happy with their progress!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Gofer, originally uploaded by debifitz.

This horse is an older retired show horse. His show name is Errand Boy. I am told that he was a great show horse in his day. The people that have him now love him and treat him like he is still a show horse! I almost forgot to sign it in my haste to get it out!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


wisteria, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Here is some of the wisteria... I put two photos together to show how far up into the trees the wisteria has gone. I guess I should have planted the dogs in front to show some perspective.. oh well, next time!!