Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jesse - The Finale!

Jesse - Finished Portrait

After much tweaking Jesse's done.  I think it was good to let him sit a day and come back with fresh eyes.  I took this last one with my better camera, outdoors and I realize how much better the colors are!

I played with the subtle value and temperature shifts in his ears to make them more 3/dimensional, tweaked area around his eyes and made subtle adjustments throughout.

Holes are drilled in the back to hold the metal loops.  The metal loops and plastic-coated wire are from United Manufacturers Supplies in Syosset, NY.  You can get good deals from buying a whole spool of wire, and a larger order of metal loops and screws.

The painting has the image on the sides....some artists just paint the sides black, but I think it looks cool to see more of the painting continued on the wraparound sides.

I'll let him sit a couple of days before I varnish him with Golden glossy acrylic brings out the colors big-time and protects the painting.

Thank you for following my work.  Feel free to forward and share with your friends ! :)
Contact me if you're interested in a pet portrait of your own.  I also paint children and, of course, in pastels too.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jesse - Step 4

Jesse - Step 4

Well now I've been busy laying in the colors and values for the ears, nose, mouth and beginning his fur coat.  Following his regular photo and the gray scale photo, I make sure the values are correct first, then have some fun putting dark purple, blue, maroon and black on his ears, some lavender, light blue and peach in the light mid-values and keeping the shapes right, especially the contour of his head.  Bloodhounds have all these folds that give him character, but are tricky to get exactly right.
I turn the painting and references upside-down to "see" the shapes and values better...tricking my eye to not look for bloodhound, but for shapes and values...and the open acrylics and gel help blend edges.  Having some fun now!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bloodhound Jesse's Portrait - Step 3

Jesse - step 3

Needing to relate him to the background, I painted in some cool grass with a mix of Golden and Matisse full body acrylics and my new golden open acrylics that leave the paint wet enough to blend like oils, but dry much quicker than oils.  I love them!  If they dry out I just give it a touch of satin acrylic glazing liquid.  This prevents glare when I photograph it. 
Greens are many mixes of mostly ultramarine and cad yellow, but mixes of cobalt and cerulean blues with yellow and white.  Love mixing greens! I wanted a cool soft background to contrast his warmer coat to come.

Brushes are synthetic flats of many brands....mostly size 8's and 10's.  A friend told me to try Royal Safe-Grips...loves them, so I may try them out.  The canvas is 1 1/2" deep Windsor & Newton wraparound canvas 14x18".

Jesse grayscale cutout

Another helpful tip is to put the photo through photoshop elements, make it grayscale mode, go to artistic filter, and cutout the levels of values.  A bit tricky at first, but it can help simplify complex value changes and allows you to play with color temperatures and intensities.  It's a suggested guide that you can bend to create depth and draw the eye where you want.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bloodhound Jesse's Portrait - Steps 1 & 2

Step 1 - Underpainting & Sketch

Jesse the Bloodhound is my latest commission...I thought I'd share with you my portrait process for this 14x18" acrylic on wraparound canvas.

Step 1 - I give the canvas a warm red underpainting with Matisse's China Red Background paint which has a built-in sealer that acts like a pigmented gesso. 

I had a photo session with Jesse, taking @80 photos and giving the client a choice of 5.  They choose this one (which was also my favorite) and decided on the portrait size.  I then printed the photo and enlarged it to the finished size to work with as a reference.  Following this, I sketched his contour and main features for placement on the canvas with a pastel pencil.

Step 2 - Starting the Eyes

Since the eyes are always the focal point and so important, I decided to start with them...putting in shapes, values and temperature.  I will fine-tune them later, but it always helps me to have him watching me during the process :)

Close-up of Eyes so far

That's all for today....tomorrow I continue....stay-tuned!