This is probably going to sound crazy to some of you but I tend to put darks in “shadow areas” on my subject first and it gives the impression of 3d beginning in my drawing which tells me right away if something is off. Then it is a gradual process adding a little more detail, then more, then more. Typically taking turns alternating back and forth between “light” then “dark” details as I go along.
I love to put the background in first so I can see the character of the pet I am painting. Chrome is surrounded by wet on wet background washes in greens and blues. Then to make his outline pop I am adding a touch of Crimson. Doesn’t he have a great regal pose, I think he does.
Chrome owned by Cornerstone Danes in Oroville WA. Absolutely beautiful dog. Please check out their website. I loved the position of one of the pictures used as a reference but got a lot of great detail in lighting from the seconde reference photo. Here is the beginning sketch with mastick (resist) applied to the paper to help reserve the important white areas.
This next watercolor is a portrait of “Chrome” who is a stud owned by Cornerstone Danes a Great Dane breeder in Oroville WA. Her dogs are absolutely beautiful. Please check out her website.
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.