Monday, January 24, 2011

Rush's Painting

Today I am doing a portrait of Rush, winner of the Pet Portrait Contest on my Facebook book page.
Wire haired dogs always prove to bee a challenge for me. I am not a "paint every hair" detail type of painter, so I need to give the impression of fine hair without painting every hair. To do this I am going to do some negative painting, and dragging a semi-dry brush to give some broken lines. I will also go back and scrape out some highlight hairs with a razor blade.

Looking at Rush's photo, I see all kinds of different colors, browns, grays, blues and yellows.
I start with the lighter colors first and let different colors mix on the page.

Then I follow up with the blues and grays. I try not to get to heavy handed because I want specks of browns to show through. There are no hard lines in Rush's coloring, just specks and lines of different colors peeking through, so I wanted to show this.

I don't really like the hard lines where the browns are meeting the grays, so I am going to make it a point to merge those edges. I have a tendency to make my greens too dark, with dark dogs, and the result is usually a muddy looking painting.
Rush has so many earth tones in his coloring, I didn't want him to get lost in the background, so I was very careful this time to keep the background light and bright, so Rush really stands out.
For the final touch, I took a razor blade, and scraped out a few highlights around the mouth and eyebrows to give the impression of fine hairs catching the sun.


  1. I've seen several other artists on the internet who specialize in pet portraits.....none as good as you. I have a keen talent of own.....recognizing the talent in others. I've recognized your's.
    Great picture!

  2. Thanks Lois. I appreciate the kind words.

  3. I love the pictures and descriptions of your process. Amazing!