Friday, May 08, 2009
I finished this portrait of "Orphan" yesterday. Orphan, a rescued shepherd mix, passed away some time ago; she belonged to my client's friend. This client has purchased two other paintings of mine: "Llemon-Llime Llama " (one of my personal favorites) and "Don't Even Think About It" and she contacted me regarding the portrait of Orphan for her friend.
She didn't have any digital photos, just two 5x7 prints of Orphan. She wanted this portrait done in my "Petzazz" style, which was fortunate, because there wasn't enough detail in the photos for me to do anything else. And with Orphan wearing Halloween costumes in both photos, the vibrant, interpretive Petzazz style was definitely in order. Of the two photos, I chose the one that would work best in terms of composition and photo detail & clarity. I scanned both photos at high resolution (the second one as reference, just in case I needed it) and sent them back to my client.
I didn't want to include the entire dog - I wanted to focus on her face, so I scaled up the scanned image and cropped it to 8" x 6" like this:
And here's Orphan's portrait:
I used a limited color palette of blue, orange & purple. To separate Orphan's coloring from the costume's colors, the dog's dark colors are a more blue-ish purple. After I was finished with painting, I sparingly used color pencil to add depth. I do this on most of my Petzazz paintings. In the detail below, you can see that I used orange color pencil over the purple paint in select spots. I also used purple color pencil over orange paint in other areas of the painting.
I also took some artistic license - less detail in the bandanna and the mask is darker so it doesn't look as much like goggles as it does in the photo. At least, it looked like goggles to me.
Here's a tip I'll pass along: just because it's in the photo, doesn't mean it has to be in the painting. I work almost exclusively from photos, but I crop my photos and I decide what to leave in, take out or add. As I near the end of the painting (or drawing) process, I stop looking at the photo and just look at the art to decide what it needs.
As of this posting, Orphan's owner has not seen the portrait. I'll let you know what she thinks when I hear back from my client.