These head studies were painted as much as anything for the technical challenge: the dog is a difficult colour and the heads are small - each about 3" x 3" - yet I wanted to capture personality.
I decided to place them against a pale blue and washed this colour over in acrylic just to get the tonal value roughly right before underpainting the heads. Here is the only WIP photo I remembered to take:
As you can see, I got as far as the second head before deciding a background of that colour was perfectly disgusting. That is one of the advantages of oil. You can cover up anything.
Someone has remarked to me that they dislike this little dog. It is true that the closest I have come to being thoroughly savaged was by an angry chihuahua.
But I liked this one. I thought he looked like an elf. Possibly I over-dosed at Christmas on The Hobbit boxed set.