While the Union Jacks are still flying in the wake of the Jubilee celebrations, here's another British connection with this family of British Bulldogs. Commissioned for Father's Day on 18 x 24" canvas board and painted in acrylics with a terracotta background, I had a number of photographs of each dog to work from. I started by sketching the dogs in a pleasing composition with the favourite at the front (shh! don't tell the others!). I wanted to get them all sitting on the cushion but also needed to keep the background and their bodies vague and uncluttered to draw the focus to each of the dogs' faces. I painted white texture paste to establish the direction of the fur on each of the dogs which took a surprising amount of time as this breed has many folds of skin. Then I concentrated on painting the main features in the right places. I worked on all four dogs at the same time to give the portrait cohesion. The temptation was to work on each dog individually but as the photos differed in clarity and colour I decided to unite the colours and moved from one dog to the next with my paintbrush loaded with the same colours. I forgot to take photos in this stage so there's a bit leap from white to lots of colour, but from there you see the gradual build up of paint creating texture and depth. I hope I've managed to capture them as individuals as well as a group.
Merry Christmas (again)
4 months ago