Pet Portrait Demonstration
Scroll all the way down to the beginning stage...
When I looked at the painting for awhile, I didn't like the shape in the background surrounding his right ear and also the line of highlights going down under his left ear. I worked the background a bit more and softened the line that was distracting me and I am pretty pleased. I will look at it again tomorrow with fresh eyes and see if it need tweeking. Painting an all black animal can be really challenging and it is why I suggest to my clients that they photograph their pet outside in the sunlight in the morning or late afternoon when the sun will show some shadows and highlights. The reference I used was pretty much lit from above but it worked out. If you are interested in having your pet painted, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also offer gift certificates for Mother's Day or some people tell their Mom's that a work is in progress!
I apologize for the shiny photos below. I had been taking them on my easel where I work and have a light above. I finally got a clue and took the painting downstairs to the area where I usually photograph. I am on a learning curve for doing demos! Now I continue to add details and push both my darks and lights which I have lost a bit in working the painting. It is time to take a break and then look for awhile.
Now I added in some more details such as the tongue and area surrounding the moth and added some cerrulean blue highlights as well as bringing some cobalt purple into the dark areas of fur.
Next, I zero in on the eyes to make sure the placement is correct and also develop some of the middle areas lighter highlights. All of these steps help me form the face and I really continue to draw this way. I decided to put the background in early and had decided to do the color of sand as this dog loves the beach!.
Step 1I usually begin my paintings with a wash of color. This one, I began with a light coat of burnt sienna. I use both positive and negative space to begin finding my subject and start to block in the darkest areas. Since this is a black lab, I really have to squint to find all those areas.
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