I ended 2014 playing with Dolphins (see “Fintastic” blog) in Hawaii and started 2015 painting a couple of challenging dog portraits.
My brother intended to surprise his wife with these portraits for her birthday in September (yes, of last year!). He sent me a few photos (really unusable photos) two weeks before her birthday. I told him those were not going to work, so I arranged a time I could sneak over and take some photos myself. My photos weren’t any better, but at least I got decent poses out of them. With my trip to Hawaii, the holidays and other work, I didn’t get started on these paintings until late in December.
Challenge #1 – white dog on white paper. To paint this poodle, I was essentially just painting the shadows of her curly fur. I used the wet on wet technique (for you non-painters, that would be wetting the paper first and then brushing in with wet paint). Both were done in layers, painting dark areas first and leaving the white of the paper. I preserve the whites by using masking fluid. Each layer or stage would be left to dry and then more masking fluid was added to save the lighter colors as the paint I was using got darker and darker.
Challenge #2 – Shih tzu!!! need I say more? These dogs have long fur that can sometimes be out of control. Their eyes are usually covered or in deep shadow. I used the same technique as the poodle although with more stages and more masking fluid. I also did a little grooming on Mikka’s bed head look!
When all is packaged for delivery, I ask myself, “How the heck did I do that?!” Thank you God for using my hands to bring beauty to this world!
Images of the finished pieces are on my website in the pet portrait gallery.