Welcome to my pet and family portrait blog. If you have commissioned a portrait you can see how it is progressing. If you would like to commission me to paint your pet, family or friend then visit my site at www.katetugwellportraits.com
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Friday, 20 January 2012

Two Black Labradors

Jet and Ollie, two tinsel-clad Labradors are now on the easel (not literally - my little cat would vamoosh in an instant!). They are being painted on a 12 x 16" artboard but without the festive collars - shame. Their shapes were difficult to put into a pleasing composition, I sketched them the other way around to start with, Jet, sitting down, was on the right. But I decided to swap them back especially as the obligatory log that they like to carry with them on their walk had to be included. I lay down a basic wash of browns in the background, waited for it to dry and started blocking in the shadows and highlights on the dogs. As I've said before, black animals are the hardest to paint well and as these dogs' faces are quite small I used my finest brush to paint the shadows around the eyes - one tiny run of pigment and the dogs could look deformed. Before adding thicker layers of detail on their coats I am concentrating on the background. I want this to look quite painterly as too much detail will detract from the dogs and I want to try and create a subtle dynamic triangular composition to draw the dogs together using light. It's starting to work but I think I'll need to add more colours and shades of green and brown to ground it (unintentional pun - sorry!).

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