Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Puppies

oil painting of dachshund puppies, how to paint puppies, a pet portrait by Karen, animal artist in Devon
Inspired by my neighbour, whose dog has recently had 12 puppies, I thought I would have a go. The trouble with pups is making a painting which isn't too cutsie, whilst still capturing that puppy-thing which attracted you in the first place. A dark background helps. The other challenge was mixing a black for their coat which wasn't too grim and cold. I mixed a warm violet black, as you can see.

Step one was the same as it always is for me: a few lines on board to give me a sense of direction and I started with the eyes:
oil painting of dachshund puppies, how to paint puppies, a pet portrait by Karen, animal artist in Devon
and then I worked from left to right completing as I went. 
oil painting of dachshund puppies, how to paint puppies, a pet portrait by Karen, animal artist in Devon
Unfortunately, I was concentrating hard and forgot to take more photos after this one. It was a hot, sunny day and my paint was tacking up much more quickly than usual. Since softening the edges was going to be important I just cracked on with it and when I next looked up it was finished.

Having repeatedly tried to paint my pictures in a more conventional manner, working across the whole surface, massing in, moving forward from large masses to detail, it is this method that works best for me. 

My subjects seem to come to life, to animate under the brush. Sometimes, when I have completed the face, the dog's expression seems reproachful, as if he is worried by the absence of his ears. So I put the ears on and his expression cheers up.

I always liked Geppetto when I was a child. Think I must have watched that film too many times:

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