Sunday, 14 August 2016

First Portrait of Chester

I don't know why I haven't painted him before, it isn't that he's not photogenic and I hadn't got any good photos. I just haven't got round to it.

The other night he was a very naughty puppy and pinched a crisp off hubby's plate! After being duly chastized he was sent to his bed and sat staring at his master for about 15 minutes when he must have decided enough of that and promptly turned his back on hubby and sat staring at the tv. I took this photo shortly after which is his "oh so loveable face" thinking how cute and naughty he could be at the same time!!

I had painted my grandpup Archie a couple of times but Chester's fur is a different colour and I wanted to use a different palette... well not so different but a different complimentary so I chose purple as my rich dark and also added a touche of UB and the other colours were burnt and raw sienna and alizarin crimson...

I drew the image (as many of you will know I don't always draw but with portraits when I am looking for a likeness I do), then I masked small areas... the highlights of the eyes, the whites below the eyes and a few whiskers here and there.

 I painted the first wash on the eyes and nose first then when dry randomly applied water around his face dropping in the paint using a mix of the colours above. I did try and colour match him as the photo came out slightly pinker than he is in the flesh so the colours you see in the painting are a little closer to his proper colour as he is golden brown, I kept chasing him round with colour swatches to see if I was close and the match to the photos was definitely not quite the right hue for him. It does make me think about when I am doing commissions and all I have is a photo.....I have never had anyone dissatisfied with the colour but maybe that is because I always use an accent of something different which makes the whole thing more colourful anyway.

I worked around the head using both smooth and rough brushstrokes to depict the nature of his fur and adding my darks (a mix of burnt sienna, aliz crimson and purple with a touch of Ub added in parts). I work on different parts of a piece so that areas can be drying as I continue to work and tweaking the likeness as I go along. Once I feel the painting is almost there I remove the masking and work more on the eyes as stark white is sometimes too much so I soften around the whites.

I was looking to get what we call his "spaniel look" where if he was wearing a pair of specs he would almost be looking over them!!

So here is the cheeky little cocker spaniel....... Chester