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Just a big ole’ grin!

The above painting was created from a photo reference by Carol McLaren Theologo submitted to the Paint My Photo site.


  1. Just a big ole grin indeed! And that’s what is on my face right now as I look at your painting.

    • I had to paint this. He or she looked totally tickled with life! THANK YOU!

  2. i like the curvy brush strokes~!

    • Hi Summer,
      Thank you so much for that comment about brushstrokes. I needed to hear that. So much of the time, I work wet in wet and try to soften many of my edges leaving brushstrokes in the dust, so to speak. Working on hot press paper helps me to concentrate on the marks I make.

  3. … and it makes me grin. Wonderful, Leslie. Made my evening. Thank you.

    • You are usually the one whose funny posts get me giggling. Thank you, Jamie!

  4. Very unusual close up, beautifully done Leslie! Very spontaneous brush work.

    • Thank you, Padmaja. I couold not help painting this after giggling at the photo reference.

  5. Oh my! You’ve managed a third dimension! This is so fabulous, Leslie. And makes me smile.

    • Thank you, Sherry. That big ole’ grin comes right forward. I had a blast drawing and painting this.

  6. When I see that you have posted I enthusiastically open up my gift!! Love this image. Artistic question…Why did you choose to create the eyes without a light reflection in them? Once again thank-you for sharing your creations…i haven’t taken the time to do the same but you have inspired me to strongly consider it.

    • Hi Sam,
      There were no light reflections in the eyes. The light came across from behind and to the right and I think the donkey’s brow hairs and eye lashes blocked the light from hitting them. The same with the nostril openings. Thank you for this wonderful comment to my creations and your question is a good one.

  7. I love your animal portraits, Leslie! This one really made me smile! πŸ™‚

    • Is it good enough to fit the category of “Art to wiggle your butt” to? Thank you for the smiles, Beth, and the comment! πŸ™‚

  8. Leslie! You are too much ! As the page opened up, I burst out laughing!!! :))

    • Thank you so much, Isabelle. You made my day. I hope it brings a grin to everyone this week. πŸ™‚

  9. Surely you mean ‘grin and donkey it’?! πŸ˜‰
    What fun!

    • HA! I’ve not heard that expression before or may have used it, Val. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  10. So expressive. And donkeys definitely have opinions.

    • Thank you, Ruth. They do. Animals can help us to feel our base emotions can’t they? πŸ™‚

  11. Cute and awesome!!

  12. This makes me smile! πŸ™‚

  13. LOL.. And who doesn’t love donkeys… Wonderful expression you’ve captured Leslie..

    • Thank you, Brian. You get me chuckling with your little Amazon guy. Had to try something with some sort of humor.

  14. Haha! Such a funny face, he looks so expressive. Makes me smile. πŸ˜€

  15. Getting that foreshortening right is a tough task, but you have pulled it off! That alone is worth braying about!!

    • Thank you, so much, for that about foreshortening. I like to work on images that include that, both from photos and from life sessions. The first time I realized I had to enlarge what comes forward on the form it was such a big open door for me.

  16. Made me smile too Leslie. I always enjoy your animals, this one had such a human feel too.

    • Am going through some yucky stuff and the photo of this donkey grinning at me just perked me right up. Had to try it, what with the challenge of the foreshortening and all. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  17. Fantastic, Leslie. Such a friendly smile. I’m smiling too. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Hannekekoop. That’s it. I wanted all to smile with me. πŸ™‚

  18. Beautiful painting, the fur is so great! But when I first saw it, the eyes are so dark I thought they were eye sockets. And I was scared! I can see now the lovely eyelashes and even the hint of reflection at the edges. But they are very dark. Overall the technique is quite wonderful, though. πŸ™‚

    • I agree with you. I didn’t quite get the roundness of the eyes by painting them as dark as the photo. You know what? In the photo, you don’t get the feeling that they are eye sockets. Go figure. I need to work on my seeing a little more. Thank you for this insightful comment, Cindy. πŸ™‚

  19. What a grand ole happy donkey – or mule? The painting suggests the best disposition in the world – ready to eat your straw hat!

    • Hi Amy. It was listed as a donkey. I’ll bet that straw hat would be gone, just like you say! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

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