My latest pet portrait painting is complete! Finished March 19, 2020. This portrait is created with acrylic paints on a 12″ x 16″ stretched canvas. From left to right, they are: Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades. Poseidon is a Keeshond, and so is Zeus, and Hades is a shepherd mixed breed.
Please click on the pictures below to see close up view of all three dogs.
This painting was created with my signature colorful style, but in a slightly different way. Looking at a small thumbnail version of the picture, the dogs look fairly normal, somewhat grey and black. However, once you zoom in and see the details you can see that no grey or brown was used. The fur details of the dogs was created using the entire spectrum of colors in small impressionistic brush strokes. For example, in the “white” areas of Zeus’ face, you can see purple, blue, green, yellow, magenta, orange, and red. This creates a very interesting visual illusion. I chose this method because these dogs do not have solid colors. Instead, their fur has an agouti, or ticked, appearance. The grey areas of the dogs are actually made up of hairs that have small black and white bands that give the appearance of grey from a distance.
Here you can see a comparison view of the painting vs the reference photo. This painting is actually rather atypical for me, since I rarely use the reference photo exactly as it is. I usually do a composite of multiple photos, even for a single portrait. By compositing, I mean maybe I will use one photo reference for the overall position, but a different one for the eyes and yet another one for the markings. Most of the pictures I get to use as my references for pet portraits are cell phone shots, and they tend to be a bit out of focus, too dark, too small, taken from too far away and there is loss of detail, lots of compression artifacts, or maybe some bit got cut off. So I tend to pick one that I like best for the main reference and use the others to fill in the details. This is fine, expected, and part of the process of being a pet portrait artist. This photo was exceptional and perfect, and I didn’t feel like there needed to be any changes made.
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