My latest painting is finally done. It was very challenging for me, because the client asked me to include the property where he hunts, an Iowa cornfield that his parents own. Bobwhite quail scattering in front of the dog, a winter cornfield covered in patchy snow– all were fun and HARD to do! This is a scene in Iowa, featuring his Brittany, Louis.
As I got close to finishing, I went back in several times for little fixes that made a huge difference in the final work. I always try to let a picture sit a few days so I can get away from it and see any last minute things that need changing. I had to go in and remove some snow, because the dog didn't stand out enough against the background (white dog against white snow–tough to do). Then I had to tone down the field because it seemed too scattered and choppy to me. Usually the dog is large with a subordinate background in my paintings, so it was fun to do a landscape. Painting the Brittany was almost like painting a miniature-- I used a magnifying glass!
Most of this picture is done in acrylic. I love being able to add a wash to tone down an area. In watercolor, a wash will lift the background. In acrylic, once it's dry you can't lift the paint. I also like being able to go over the details with a solid color, rather than transparent like in watercolor. Sometimes that is the best way to get a strong white, and details in the fur over the edge and into the background.
I hope you like Louis' portrait! Visit my web site to see more of my pet portraits.