I am gradually adding warm tones to her face along with shadow work with blues, gray and brown around her eyes. A gray or black fur is best started with blue for me adding small amounts of black or purple for different tones. Reds also help and my favorite combo to use is greens and red mixes instead of black. It seems to be a better darker color. On the background, I am trying out some brown tones on the branches but am getting an uneasy feeling about how distracting it is from focus on her face.
Now the eyes, her best expressive feature. I work them in with golden brown and green with some spots of purple for emphasis. Darkening shadows with blues and some purple. Adding the brown collar being very careful to reserve the white for the metal on her collar. Shiny metal is tricky. The sky is darkened.
I like to paint large background washes without having to worry about avoiding details. The wonderful way that watercolor spreads as you drop pools of color is fascinating to me. This step shows where I am applying mastik resist to protect the areas I want to keep white. Sometimes it is distracting sometimes because it gives the impression that the area us a dark color. It is one of those “mind over matter” things to avoid getting mixed up with.
I received a project from my daughter’s friend Libby for a portrait of her dog Stella that has passed away. Libby runs Cornerstone Danes out of Oroville WA absolutely beautiful dogs. Unfortunately, Libby lost almost all of her photos of Stella when her phone crashed. You can imaguine how horrible that is. What we had to work with are five shots. One is detailed and up close, the others are not so close up and in different positions definetly showing her personality.
Stella was deeply loved and greatly missed and I look forward to painting her. From my own personal experience I know how difficult it is to say goodbye to our best friends!
BTW. I still take photographs with a real digital Nikon D60 and love the ability to adjust for different lighting and detail.
Here is the reference photos I am working from to do a portrait of a special beloved dog named “Stella” see the owners website, Cornerstone Danes. Isn’t she the sweetest face you have ever seen?