Thursday, 9 July 2015

Portrait of a German Shepherd

Portrait of a German Shepherd, oil painting, dog painting, pet portrait by Karen
I wanted to paint this dog with the minimum amount of fussing with detail if I could possibly manage it. Over on my other blog, I have been discovering  - copying the work of Masters - how little fuss there was with detail, how large, bristle-y brushes are the norm, how the use of rags and fingers also appears to be commonplace and that the battle in general is for overall EFFECT, not mastery of individual detail. This is easy to say (write), but very hard to do.
Here is the palette I used. Not sure if you can read my annotations - it will certainly be difficult on a mobile phone. From top left to bottom: pthalo blue, black, transparent oxide brown, transparent oxide red, cad yellow deep (not used, in the event), yellow ochre deep and a warm and cool red (for the tongue).
german shepherd painting - working progress
As I usually do, I started working from the eyes, then the face in general and moved outwards, although I did place some pink notes in the ears to give them a chance to tack up before going back in to add fur:
german shepherd painting - working progress

As an afterthought: the smeary, raw sienna sort of background on the board was not created deliberately: it was the aftermath of wiping off the last painting that went wrong. I could have re-gessoed, but thought this would be fine as a base to work on.

GSDs are not dogs I know very much about. I mentioned once before on this blog that the only serious time I have spent with the breed was at Mirheim Kennels in Ontario, near to Toronto, owned by my auntie Mary Vurma, who was once a well-known GSD breeder (25.8.23-12.5.10). On the occasion of that visit, I took six of her dogs out on a lead walk round the neighbourhood and felt like a super hero. I didn't get to meet any of the locals, though: I noticed they all crossed the road when they saw us coming.

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