Hello Folks, This is Charley! He’s my first watercolor commission and I’ve written about making the first study at painting him earlier this summer. It’s been quite the dog days for me, we’re in triple digits here since what seems like forever. I’ve had to work on plenty of other obligations and haven’t had much time to paint. As I was working on painting this sweet dog in the quiet of my house this morning, I realized just how much I’d missed painting (and perhaps that’s why I’ve been a bit crabby lately….I’m just sayin!)
Since the first study, I’ve met Charley and the other pets in his house, I’ve been painting eyes and noses, and then working on several other studies. His human sent me some other photos, here’s one which show his colors more clearly than the brightly lit one I was working from. So my sketch was from the earlier photo, but I used the colors from this. Don’t you just love the eyes of the older sweetie behind him? I kept getting drawn into the sweet elderly face!
I thought it might be helpful to show you the steps that led up to the current painting. I’m not sure it’s the final one…we’ll have to see what his humans say, but I can always learn more by painting another one! To begin with I did some sketching:
and then did studies of eyes and noses:
Don’t the noses look like flying aliens?? they crack me up.
Then I took the image and put it through the “pencil sketch” effect in picasa web and boosted the contrast to get nice dark lines.
I put it on my light table with a piece of 140 lb Arches paper on top and the dark lines showed through.
You can see it here but the lines weren’t quite that dark, I enhanced the contrast so you could see them. It turns out that i didn’t need all those extra lines of the hair, because that’s more naturally done by just playing with the paint. in future tracings I only did the nose eyes and mouth.
In researching how to do the painting, I watched two watercolor technique videos which were very helpful: Watercolor Secrets: Realistic Pets with Carrie Stuart Parks and Jake Winkle’s Going Wild in Watercolor. Of the two, I find Jake’s style bold and invigorating and that showed in the first study, but I like the more realistic view with techniques taught by Carrie.
So here’s an in process stage where I had wet the right side cautiously over top of the underpainting soft colors with no hard edges, and added extra color and fur brush strokes. After this I did the same on the left side and then started adjusting details and adding whiskers.
So that’s what I’ve been doing in the dog days of summer. How about you? What have you been up to? Have you painted dogs? if so, what tips can you share?
Thanks for stopping by. I’ll let you know what Charley’s humans have to say…