So this little King Charles looks nice and comfy! Painted using a palette of Titanium White, Pthalo Blue, Cadmium Yellow, and Magenta I wanted to keep this lively so used a No.6 flat hog hair to quickly put in the background and blanket and then used a No.4 Filbert to sketch in and put most of the detail into the dog. I then finished with a No.1 Round brush for the details - hair and eyes. All in all about 3 hours work.
I was spoilt for choice when painting this breed, as I had several submits of German Shepherds, so I guess it must still be a popular breed. The photo I chose was submitted by Millie King. This is her dog 'Trip', so called because apparently he tends to lie where people literally fall over him! As Trip has a lot of features which are defined by his fur, I built up layers and layers of tones starting from dark and ending with the highlights. For the fur I used a fan brush and dipped the tips into a farily dry mix of paint. I then brushed it onto the painting in the direction of the fur, giving it texture, and form through tone. I had deceide at the outset that this was not going to be photorealistic, so worked very quickly. The only part where I used a smaller brush for detail is the eyes. Unfortunately the photo had red eye so I had to amend this using other reference pictures. My palette was Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Magenta and Titamium White.
Time taken - Approx 6 hrs
'Tia' is a Fox Terrier owned by Lisa Merner, and is the princess of the family. I had several photo's submitted and although Tia is not looking directly at the camera, I thought that with this breed of dog, you get a better shape from the side view. She is looking at her owner, out of view, which makes you wonder what has captured her attention. I used a palette knife in the initial stages, building up the texture of her fur. I then painted in her markings, and went back over the fur making sure the light and shade worked in the right places, to depict her frame. Using a scratching technique in the background I added Pthalo Blue and used a wash of this on the top of her head where it reflects the wall behind. I deliberately left the collar very basic, as the fact that it is red draws attention to it anyway, and I wanted the viewer to move from the collar to the face and then through the background. I hope it works! I used a palette of Pthalo Blue, Magenta, Cadmium Red Hue, Titanium White and Yellow Ochre.
TIme taken - Approx 10 hrs
My whole A-Z of dog breeds exercise is, for me, an opportunity to engage with people, as well as the obvious benefits of giving myself a structured project to practice technique and develop my style.
With this fella I got the bonus of conveying a real character! Brian the bulldog has the most fantastic face to paint. He really is saying " Look, I'm hungry. My bowl is empty. What are you waiting for?" I actually added the bowl into the painting as the photo was taken from above, forcing the dog to look up, which begged the question, why is he looking and what does he want? Food is usually a good pacifier with dogs so it seemed the obvious choice.
As with all of the paintings in this series, I limited my palette to 3 colours + Titamium White - Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow, and Magenta. I began with pasting newspaper directly onto the canvas to build up texture - I had wanted to allow this to show through, but got a bit carried away (a typical flaw in my painterly technique). I worked quickly to get in the form and tone, and then built up layers of colour. I finished with the highlights, and hope that I did Brian justice. Total time taken - Approx 6 hrs
I am a painter specialising in Oil portraits of animals and people, though I do take on commissions of just about anything. I love art, and I love being inspired and I love to paint! Please feel free to comment on my work.