Friday, January 17, 2014

Buffy and Lilah

Oil on Canvas
11 x 14

My day job slowed down, so I thought I might give pet portraits a try. I got a photo from my stepmom of her two dogs. I was not even sure I could do fur.

I transferred the picture to the canvas, and did a burnt sienna wash like I always do. I see now that is what works for me. Then I worked on the whole background first, which was safer since I have done many landscapes.

I was feeling nervous about doing the dogs, so I got out my Norman Rockwell books and looked at all the pictures. I realized that Norman Rockwell didn’t do anything very fancy with the colors, he just painted things as he saw them. I saw a layout of his pallet and it had many neutrals on it. So I just dug out all the browns that I needed, and black, (all colors that I have never used before. and I went at it.

I blocked in the basic colors of the dogs, and let it dry, then I went over the dogs again with little strokes of the similar colors as the under colors, in order to make fur. I found Naples Yellow to be an EXTREMELY useful color. I completed the dog in back first, and then the dog in the front.  I tried to stay true to the values, and that really made it pop. When it was all dry, I put on the pure whites in the fur.

I am really amazed at how well it came out. I didn't think I could do that. 

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