Thursday, 7 November 2013

Ridgebacks commission + stage photos

Here is my latest commission, despatched in the post yesterday and I do so hope the customer is pleased. It was a biggish painting - biggest I have done thus far, anyway - so it has tested me on a number of levels, not least scale and the awkwardness of handling a large, heavy canvas.

I set a page up on my website for the customers so they could check up on progress all the way through, so I have a lot of photos. It isn't always easy looking back to tell the difference between the stages, so I have just picked out a few. 

Here is the reference photo first of all
The most difficult aspect of this was those long, long legs and big fat paws coming towards you out of the photo. My challenge was to prevent the legs and paws becoming the accidental focal point. So I kept the edges soft and retained harder edges on their faces (hard edges attract the eye); also I "lost" the paws as much as possible in imaginary grass.

Step one, as per yesterday's description of painting Harry, was to make a scale drawing
Even on this line drawing I felt I was drawn to the paws, don't know if you agree.

Then I started painting. I put some grass in first but then painted over it because it distracted me from the dogs. Can you see the eyes of one of the dogs in the line drawing peeking over the edge of the easel? Ha! I have only just seen him.
At this point the customer was a bit concerned about the left eye of the dog on the right (in the picture) as she didn't think it looked right, so I re-did his eye
and this was OK so I was able to go back to work on the left hand dog's tricky teeth, tongue and gums
After that it was just a question of painting the grass and "losing the paws" (as well as adjusting the colour of the dogs' coat). Here they are, finished:

Hope you like them. Have a great weekend and thank you for looking at my paintings.

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