This was another commission I had to do before Christmas. I used to have a Cocker Spaniel so I am very familiar with them. I had a very good photo reference for this which is always helpful. I thought I would show a couple pics of my process because I always enjoy seeing how others work through the process. Everyone has a different approach. This was a 10×8 and again the couple who owned this dog was so enthusiastic it was heartwarming (=
It has been way too long since I posted…sorry everyone, sometimes life gets in the way. But I wanted to post this first and show you the finished product. I think she came out really cute. The reaction of the owner when she saw it was priceless. It makes it all worth while when someone is so happy with their painting =D
The only thing I would like to change about this would be that it has no texture. But in all reality, a Dachshund has such a smooth coat that I am ok with it. I was definitely a bit anxious doing a backlit picture. The dog is so dark and there was very little real definition in the photo I had to work from. I was unsure if I would be able to pull it off. But i have to say that I was pretty happy with it, and considering the response of the owner, I am pleased.
I was really drawn to do this particular painting because of the nice color contrast I had in mind for his fur. I also wanted the challenge of doing a large close up shot. It was great fun to do and I look forward to doing some more similar close up pictures of animals and perhaps even people. This was painted on 8×8 gesso board, which can be challenging because of the slippery nature of its surface. But I find that it is good for forcing me to stay loose with my brushwork.
This is the second time that I painted this little cutie. My goal here was to focus on getting the subtle light changes and shape right. I love the little spot of light on her back that allows the nose to come forward. These types of lighting really capture my attention. It can be a challenge to get the value just right so that it will do what you want but it is worth the effort of practicing. I love the softness and variety of color in this too. I was interested in creating roundness with the contrast of cool and warm colors. It was good practice.
This is another shaggy dog portrait. The first time that I attempted to paint one of these shaggy dogs I was perplexed at just how to go about it. It seems that as I have gotten more experience, I am beginning to see all the wonderful colors of light cast upon the individual hairs as well as beginning to better understand how light works as it falls on its subject. One thing I am learning is that no matter how many times you paint a picture, it will come out a bit different each time. It’s pretty interesting to consider this.
I Just love this guy or girl…this looks like a very healthy bear enjoying a bit of contemplation. In this painting, I was attempting to paint in a looser more impressionistic style. I used a 6×6 piece of gesso board which is a very smooth surface. It can be tricky to paint on when you first try it, but I think it lends itself nicely to leaving clear brush strokes. This is part of the look I am going for when I refer to impressionism. I am not trying to paint the bear’s hairs, but rather an overall fur coat.
I am struggling with this one. I really liked the photo but I am not happy with the painting yet. I think I really dislike the background color, and I also think that the head is too dark. I have tried to adjust him at least once but not feeling that it was successful. I think I need to go back and try again. Really, what have I got to lose if I don’t like it anyway?
I actually find that at this point in a painting, I can actually learn a lot. Once I am not concerned about ruining something I already dislike, I am willing to take more risks. This is a good time to learn.
These sweet little terriers are full of life and enthusiasm. This guy is no exception and he seems to exude his self confidence here. Almost seems to be saying, look at how handsome I am! They are very fun to paint!
These are my best friends’ dogs. They are very cute and well behaved. I have had this photo for quite a while just waiting for the right time to do it. I have several others of them, as well, that I will be doing. They are good subjects for practice. This is one of my favorite pet portraits so far.
This was done for my niece. It was actually one of the more difficult pets I have done. It was difficult to find a photo of her that was detailed enough to paint from. I think it turned out cute, especially with the little dinosaur toy. The background is an interesting thing, I never know what color to use. The panel was underpainted with light red and when I put ochre over it, it came out this orangy tone, which I sort of liked. It wasn’t what I was going for but I thought it worked well, so I left it. I guess it is a good example of one of those happy accidents.