A little update on what I've been working on...
Frankie is complete!
Unfortunately, the image I had to work from was taken using the ‘portrait’ filter on a mobile phone. Which is lovely for the owner, but a nightmare for a fine artist! The details were all blurry, so I had to ask for further images to complete the body and legs accurately.
The collar I painted using 3 other images and piecing parts together to get it as close to the original collar as I could.
Overall, I am very happy with the finished result, and the client was happy too!
My next project was the lovely Bella, Springer Spaniel.
Spaniels are tricky, all the curls in the hair make for hard work! The key to this portrait was layers, and lots of them! I do try to keep the loose watercolour feel where I can, but sometimes I need to go more solid with the paint to achieve the look of realism.
I started with the biggest highlights, which I put down in light grey, then used solid black around the rest of the ear shape. Here I introduced my clever bleed proof white paint. This is a great paint to use for a white base, as its bleed proof. This means I can mix it with grey and paint over the black and it sits on top, like an acrylic.
From here I did my midtones, then using a finer brush, moved to the lighter tones, then the final layer was for highlighting. The effect is of depth and interest, not to mention far more accuracy than if I used a very loose, washed out type of finish.
My client felt strongly that her ears are her personality, so I really wanted them to look like the picture. I added some loose hairs around the ear to give that scatty feel she loved in her dog.
My lovely cat Zorro decided to drop by for some moral support! What is it about cats?! If they aren’t drinking from your paint water glass, they are trying to sit on the table, or your lap. Anyway, after a quick visit and a cuddle, he wandered off, unamused by the whole event.
After many hours of hard work, the picture was complete!
This was most definitely a challenge, but I’m glad it worked and I am super proud of the results!