At the last minute I am not happy with a whish washy background so I add detailed grass and darker reds to the mix. I am satisfied with the added red in the background as it gives “Chrome” in his regal pose some more outline depth.
All done. Sign and send time, thank you Libby Willis of Cornerstone Danes in Oroville WA. I love pet portraiture.
The process now is careful dark details then careful light details till I am satisfied with his expression shape and eyes. I slowly narrow down the white highlights as I go.
Now is kind of tricky cause even though I have been painting Chrome with all those warm yellow, orange, and brown tones I am going to add a Cerulean Blue wash over all of him to make the Greys begin to appear. I even apply the wash to the whites and quickly dab with a papertowel to remove the majority of the blue from where I want my whitest white to remain.
Now that mostof the big areas have been setup with wet on wet splashes of color, it is time to remove the mastik (resist) that has reserved the white areas. You can see that much of the area being reserved has appeared quite dark, and as I remove it sometimes it is surprising how different it looks with those white areas exposed.Now is when it feels as though I must buckle down and carefully ad details without ruining the great highlights areas available.
In addition to the New Gamboge with a touch of Alzarin Crimson I am adding touches of Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna to give different layers of muscle on the fur. On his shadows I am adding blues to darken and then a mixture of Cobalt Blue with Paynes Gray to darken it more like in his ears, in his nostrils and on his chin and below his lips on his neck. He is looking like a tan or brown coated Dane but don’t worry, there are steps in the future that will change this to greys.
Although “Chrome” is a grey Great Dane, his coat does reflect like a mirror, some of that warm sunset lighting. I’m wanting to capture that warm orangy yellow highlight tint in his fur found on the first reference photo of him. I use New Gamboge with a touch of Alzarin Crimson to drop those highlights in. That photo is below so you can see what I mean.
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.