After I finished Audrey the chicken portrait, one of my sisters friends asked me if I could paint her dog Minnie. After we agreed on a photo that would look good we just needed a better angle of the body and another shot of her favourite hair bow. So this painting was made up from three photos supplied by the owner.
I always like to start with the eyes in most of my paintings, as I think this is the life of the painting.
It’s also hard to get a perfect match until the rest of the head is painted so I will often revisit these later to make some final tonal adjustments.
Next I moved onto the nose which was very difficult to get correct as the photo looked more black than Minnies actual nose, that was brownish.
Next was the tongue and I think I spent about 5hrs perfecting this and it was so much fun to paint and get it as accurate as possible. This tongue remains my most life like, most detailed piece of art I’m most proud of to date.
Next I started getting the general direction of Minnies hair. I also added the bow from another photo.
Starting to get a feel for the hair now and building up the layers.
I was paying special attention to the scar on the nose as this is what makes each dog unique. Unfortunately this was just dirt and I was told to remove it. lol
Most of the face hair and left ear complete after another long day painting.
I was finding white very tricky to paint with, if applied too thin it was transparent and too thick it would dry on the brush and not transfer to the paper.
Right ear complete and a few final touch ups on the face.
Now time to paint the rest of the white fur without it looking too dirty on a white background.
A little shadow to ground the dog and make her white legs stand out from the background.
Another happy customer and I must say this was one of my most difficult paintings yet because of the white fur on white background.
Also the scale of the painting is A3 which is double the size I normally paint. This also brought its challenges, like constantly leaning over the table to paint the top parts of Minnie.
I may invest in an adjustable drawing board but then I would have a problem where to mount iPad I paint from.
I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Arches France Watercolour Paper, 300g Cold Pressed.
I normal paint from my own photograph but when painting commissions I will use supplied photos for pet portraits.
Enjoy, Chris Osborne