Schnauzer Oil Portrait

Schnauzer Oil Portrait

Choosing a backgroundWhen you have a photo of your pet that you really like, you might also have a background that's less desirable. In this new portrait commission, you can see that the photo of the Schnauzer is not only rather dark, but the ears and paws are cropped. Then there is partially visible and parts of a room that make up the background. Such a photo might work in a small frame, but let's face it no one really stops in their tracks to say wau. 

So what to do with a less than wonderful photo? Chuck everything that is not needed! I love to think outside the box and go for bold to basically stop anyone in their tracks as soon as they pass the new portrait on my client's wall. 

Now, my client had seen the portrait of the Schnauzer below:

Since there are so many shadesof pink rather than verbally confirming  pink background, I prefer to create a mock-up with samples. A visual aid helps greatly to see what the finished  painting might look like.

After my client picked the background color that she liked best, it was time to start with the painting outline. 

schnauzer dog portrait painting in progress

First the general colors of the background where added. Since this Schnauzer has a rather dark fur, I decided to paint the outline over the background. As the painting progresses each layer will complete the one that came before and less and less of the pink will show through. However, in certain areas were the value matches the surrounding color, I might keep it for an extra punch. You will see what I mean shortly.