Here’s the progression of the portrait of Lulu. The background color changes several times, which changes from blue grey to green gray and back to medium grey for the finished portrait. Acrylic paint has that flexibility. This was painted on water color paper that was prepped with gesso – a painting ground for canvas or paper. Several photos were provided throughout the process, so that I could get the correct coat color.
The Portrait of Duffy was a new challenge. Never had done a painted portrait with acrylic paints. That’s okay. Experiments, learning curves, and self doubt are all good for something. The portraits are based on photos that me or other people take of the subjects. Duffy’s body looks completely foreshortened. My friend Alan, who was also a painter, encouraged me throughout the process.
Duffy is a Newfoundland cross with a Cocker Spaniel, so I was told. He has the bigger foofy head with droopy eyes and a smaller body. Lots of fur to trim. His body is trimmed in this picture, which exaggerates the foreshortening. Also, I cut off the feet to emphasize his expression. I have never met him, but he has a striking expression.
This could be called the Blue Dog, maybe. I don’t know. I started with purple underlay and switched to the blue accents. That’s easily done with acrylic paint.
On to the next portrait of a German Shepherd Dog that will be a pastel. Soft chalks and pastel pencil have a more familiar feel. But I totally enjoyed doing this portrait.
Dog portraits are fun to do. This one was started with acrylic paint to rough in the painting. This photo of the second stage is where I start to lay in the oil paint color. I am using oil paint for the finished portrait.
Working with a small format canvas has its challenges. One small stroke can change the expression. Sascha has a very serious look. She is a very sweet family dog, who likes nothing better than carrying a stick in her mouth and shaking it back and forth while walking with you on her country road. This painting, from a photo her Mom took of her, reflects her serious side and her dignified bearing as her family’s protector.
The lack of sunlight has made my progress very slow. I like natural light for painting, but I cannot delay any longer. Today I continue to bring out the details in the portrait of Sascha under artificial lights. Keep on keeping on…
Finished Portrait of Sascha- The Long Haired German Shepherd