Soon I'll be back to painting flowers, landscapes and seascapes, but first one more pet portrait.
This one will be a 5"x7" watercolor of two dogs that look very much alike at first glance. However, one is a lab/pit bull mix and the other a lab/border collie mix. I begin, as always, by deciding on the composition and then doing a detailed drawing.
When clients fill in the Pet Portrait Questionnaire, they write about their pets. I use these stories and descriptions to help me decide the poses and composition of the piece.
Rex, the lab/pit bull was rescued from a pound. He is "pretty mellow" and I've chosen a photo to use as reference that shows that part of his personality. I'll begin the painting with Rex after washing in a soft, neutral background.
The reason is that flat black makes a dull, flat color. Who wants that? Also, a black coat on an animal is not totally black. You will see shades of brown or blue in it as well.
So I mix my black from blue and brown paints. The blue and brown mixed equally make a gray when mixed with more water and a black when mixed with less water. Also, I can adjust the mixture to show either blue-black, brown-black, gray-black or deep black. All of these colors will appear in the dogs' coats.
I determined that the light will be coming from the left in this portrait. And of course, it will need to be the same for both dogs.
So the right side of each dog will be a bit darker as it's in shadow and the left side will be lighter.
Rex may need some more adjustments, but that will wait for a bit.
Tomorrow I will paint Buster and then adjust the shadows and light sides on both dogs until I'm satisfied with the results.
Click here to see the dog portrait of Buster