Sometimes you end up painting something that is outside your comfort zone. For me that is usually portraits of people or pets. I avoid them but every now and again something happens to inspire me to give them another try. I did a black and white drawing of my father just after he passed. It turned out quite special and I think it was a work of love. This year, I gave a pet portrait a try. Why? Well I have a great friend who is as in love with her dogs - yes plural - as I am with my pampered princess. I thought she'd love a portrait of her two fur babies and I'd planned to do it 5 months earlier to be a gift for her special birthday ending in 0. Of course, I let the deadline slip and it didn't happen. Sometimes the painting inside you isn't cooked but it's time.
I started with a blue background - it's Lisa's favorite color at the minute then chalked in the outline of her coonhound, Lucy, the alpha dog. It was easy to find a photograph to work from as her fur babies are much photographed and very photogenic.
I spent a few days building up the color and texture in Lucy's face using acrylics only to find I'd run out of white which was critical to making Lucy's face. Still it gave me time to let everything dry before I went back in. I am impatient so I have to be careful not to keep adding wet paint to wet paint and end up with mud.
Many of the photographs of these fur babies center around Lisa's bed. Lucy and Gidget love a blanket and a pillow. To represent this I added the wire work eclipse that hangs proudly above Lisa's bed. I used metallic paints - bronze and silver - in this object only to reflect light and grab attention from the dogs dominating the final painting.
It was time to add the irrepressible Gidget to the painting. Her mommy had already text a reprimand saying, "Where's Gidget?" when I sent her the start of the canvas to tantalize her. I wanted to capture her expression as she has a cute face and I needed plenty of that white paint.
In the end, the dogs love for Lisa, Lisa's love for them and my love of her acted as the inspiration for this pet portrait.