Tuesday, 12 August 2014

My Name is Wilson

This dear little chap was painted from a photograph courtesy of Christine Coffey.  White dogs are very tricky to paint (and the painting is then tricky to photograph) but I felt happy with how he came together. 

I toned the whole board in a thin coat of Manganese Blue Golden acrylic  - a shade darker than the actual background shown here.  

I did this for two reasons: to make sure I didn't go too light too early on - I find it is very easy to "run out" of values in high key paintings. I put my lightest light on that shadowy bit behind the back of his neck and lo and behold I haven't got any lighter lights for the upward facing planes of his eyebrows. I am more likely to do this, I have noticed, if the canvas is white. 

Secondly, because he is a white dog and Titanium White is the coldest colour on the palette, I used a (cold) blue background to make sure I warmed up my whites so the dog looked like he was cosily sleeping as opposed to being actually dead. I warmed up the whites in two ways: by adding the smallest amounts of pink or yellow to Titanium White or by using the magic ingredient : Gamblin's Warm White. This is a wonderful product and one of those I would not want to be without. It can be hard to get, but is stocked by Jacksons Art Supplies in the UK. It is a lovely warm, Devon Clotted Cream sort of colour which I have found impossible to mix.

Tomorrow, the trials and tribulations of painting a black dog.

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