Sunday, September 4, 2011

Australian Shepherd portrait by Terry Albert

My latest painting, this one of Gibson the Aussie, is an 11" x 15" done in acrylics on Strathmore board, matted to 16" x 20". 

I sure struggled getting started on this painting. I kept asking the client for more photos, and I got several that showed the proportions of the dog, but none I liked so well. I originally didn't want to use this pose because his nose looked way to long to me; camera distortion, I'm sure. I finally realized, once I started drawing, that his nose looked long because his tongue was hanging out so far-- optical illusion! So I shortened that tongue and am happy with the result. 

Many dogs, especially German Shepherds, have huge long tongues that look odd if painted the way they actually are. If a dog's tongue is hanging out that far, he's probably hot and tired, not  something I want to convey in a painting. Painting exactly what you see is not always a good thing. 

Gibson, "Gibbs" for short, is one of several pieces I have done for this family over a period of almost 20 years! I finally got to meet them last summer, and we were instant friends. Thank you Larry and family, for allowing me to paint the many wonderful dogs you've owned over the years.

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© 2011 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

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