Sunday, January 02, 2011

Buster and Rex - finishing the pet portrait painting

Originally, I was going to post this part yesterday, but New Year's somehow got in the way. I hope you had a happy New Year's celebration. I am looking forward to the coming year!
OK, now that Rex is painted in, it's time to start on Buster. Buster is an energetic dog who loves to chase his orange ball outdoors. Even though the ball will not be in the portrait since it's a close-up, it will be somewhere. Guess where? In his master's hand.
I've chosen a pose for Buster that has a focused look on his face as if he's just waiting for someone to throw that ball!

Buster's coat is a bit deeper black than Rex's, so I use more blue in the coloring for the highlights.
Since he is part border collie, he has lovely thick white fur on his chest that contrasts with his dark coat.

He also has beautiful brown eyes.

Eyes are round, but they are painted differently than a solid round object. Something that is shiny and solid has a highlight on the light side and is dark on the shadow side.
But eyes let the light pass through them. So the light side will have a highlight in the pupil, but the shadow side will be lighter in the iris where the light passes through. This helps to achieve very realistic eyes. You can click the image to see it closer.

Now that Buster is painted in, it's time for the final details in which the elements of the faces are checked and adjusted to be sure the painting is true to the real animal.
I check, not only the photos I'm using as reference, but also the other photos send by the client to do this.
Rex's nose needs some trimming down. A "scrubber" brush is useful to gently pull out highlights or take off paint as needed. I also will use a watercolor brush to remove thin lines of color where this makes sense.

Here are the two boys! I've deepened the color of the background to give it more depth and complement the dogs' coats.
Buster, with eyes alert, is waiting for you to throw him his favorite ball, while mellow Rex is "chillin" in the foreground. 

Do you have beloved pets you'd like painted? Check out the details here, or contact me.


Perky RN said...

OH MY GOD! Simply beautiful! Those are my boys and this will be a beautiful gift for my husband (belated Xmas gift). I am sooooo glad I saw the blog and actually shared it with my husband. His first remark after "WOW" was "Why didn't you order it as an 8 x 10 or larger?" Well perhaps I can commission another piece in the future? Unless you are tired of all the pet portraits.... though I don't know how you can be since you are so talented :-) God bless you and thanks for your detail oriented work. Sincerely, Lori Mitchell RN

Janet Zeh said...

SO happy you and your husband like the painting Lori! Not to worry, I am not tired of pet portraits, they are so much fun to paint.
Thanks so much for your nice comments. Your painting will be shipped first thing in the morning.