This one is called Frankie. My other half said he had a face only a mother could love, but I liked him. He has, however, caused me no end of trouble being not once but twice a wiper. I had trouble defining the problem at first (this is one of the many things that makes painting difficult: being able to see that your work "isn't quite right" doesn't mean you will immediately see why this is so. At least, so I have found).
So I went through a little check list. Is the drawing off? Nope. Is the composition off? No, not really - it is a full face study so not much to be said about composition. Are the values off? Umm… well..maybe.
Is the colour off? YES YES.
In my earlier attempts, I had given the canvas a scarlet underpainting. I had used Lamp Black for the dog's coat and Terra Rosa (a sort of ruddy pink) for the background.
I suddenly realised poor Frankie looked like a very large blackberry dropped into a bowl of pink blancmange.
So I wiped, re-washed the canvas with Quinacridone Gold and started again with a palette that excluded black altogether (although I used a titchy bit for the pupils of his eyes). Here is my palette with the colour strings I pre-mixed. The darks on the left began as puddles of French Ultramarine and Burnt Umber which I gradually tinted down with white into a 7 value chain. The brights or lights on the right are Cad Yellow Light and Burnt Sienna. I also had to sneak in a dab of alizarin for his inner ears.
Anyway, next week something completely different. Have a great weekend and thank you for looking at my paintings.