I love experimenting with new painting techniques and for this Pit Bull Portrait of Ghengis Khan experimentation was necessary. The dark shadows and dark tree trunks in the original photo reference presented a challenge. When printing darks they get to be rather flat looking and since this was a commission for a digital portrait, I decided to use as much texture as possible to make the dark areas more interesting.
Pit Bulls have a very short coat as well and the whole reference photo just looked incredibly flat. By building up short paint dabs the entire painting became much more interesting and yet I was able to preserve the look of the dog.
In the reference photo the eye got lost in the shadows as well, and I was able to paint it back in so Ghengis Khan can look back at his owner. It's hard to show details of the brush work so here are some more shots of the finished piece.