Where Shiloh stands now


I am enjoying the challenge of capturing Shiloh in watercolor.  I’m at the stage now where I want to lay in a varied color background probably in blues and browns that will capture the shaggy white edges around his ears and shoulder fur.  I also have to decide what side to shade his face.  I’m thinking on the right side as we are looking at him.

Since putting in the background would involve uninterrupted time and attention to get the edges just right and keep all the pigment  flowing without sharp edges, I’m going to work on that tomorrow.  The kids are almost home now and even though they are teenagers, uninterrupted time is hard to find!

Here are previous posts in this process:
https://rachelm.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/shiloh-in-progress/ (first attempt)
https://rachelm.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/shiloh-study-day-24/ (wild study)

As always, thanks for stopping by and letting me know your thoughts!

Shiloh early stages

Here is where the Shiloh commission painting stands now.  I will be working on it further this weekend. Once the area around his right eye has more done, I think it will be well along.  

Here’s the board I have handy to work from. The top photo is the principal one, the black and white next to it shows me the values. The bottom right photo shows his ears, the dreadlocks, that I am incorporating. And the bottom left is the initial practice painting. 

I got lost in keeping some of the white areas of his fur, and with watercolor keeping the white paper is imperative. So on the current painting I have a tiny white x  in each area to remind me to keep them white. 

Here are earlier stages of the painting. 

Shiloh in progress


Here’s where it’s at with earlier shots, and I’m not happy with the eyes, especially the left one and know that I need to save more whites in his fur.  With this one I tried painting wet onto dry paper and have some fur like edges in places, giving myself a map to follow as you can see from the first step below.


And below is stage 2.  I have to admit even though I’m not happy with the outcome, I am having fun with the process and rethinking my procedures.  Happy with the colors on the whole too which is nice.  I’m doing this on strathmore aquarius and it is a very soft paper and I think I’m going to switch to arches or saunders waterford.


You can see earlier blog postings in the journey of painting Shiloh.  Here’s where I painted in bed without a pencil sketch and here’s an eye study.

Now that the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge is over, I’ve been painting plein air, taking a painting class, and working on the Shiloh commission.  I just haven’t been blogging about it.  But I will catch up on that. I promise!


Thanks for stopping by!  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Shiloh’s eye study — Day 22

Shiloh commission

Shiloh commission reference photo

Photo of Shiloh

The client would like these dreadlock hair on the ears included in the painting

Before Christmas I got a call from a  dog owner who saw my work at an art fair I did and wanted to commission a watercolor of her Australian shepherd.  Isn’t he beautiful??  I just love him.  We met and I got to know this feisty three year old dog. What a love!

The owners are very patient with me because I had this important show deadline (tomorrow!) for which I’m painting, but I feel like that’s in a good place.

WC study

Small study of eye and colors (click to view larger)

detailed line drawing of dog

detailed line drawing

A while ago, I had done a detailed line drawing of the portrait without the ear changes. And today I grabbed a scrap piece of watercolor paper only intending to try out colors, but it morphed into this eye study done without preliminary drawing.

 This is going to be such a fun painting to do. I’ll be working on techniques to get the color blending and the hair texture and keep the white patches… and will probably do a nose study as well…

I’m liking it!  What do you think?