Sometimes I look at a photo reference and all I can think of is "Holly Guacamole!" (this is the edited - cleaned up version) - how am I going to pull this one off?! The challenge here are not the dog portraits by the crazy amount of leaves and jumble of trees in the background. So with a deep breath inhale, the easy stuff is done first, which is blocking in the mail shapes and just getting an overall feel for the direction the brush work has to go. Horizontal for the ground and vertical for the trees. I am not an arborist, but I think I spotted birch amongst that jumble of branches and trunks. So looking for the light streaks brings me a ever so small step closer to creating the backdrop. Then is was time to relax and just dab some color on the dogs. That's done so I won't loose my marbles over what is to come :) As always I will be posting updates soon below and if you like to follow along and a chance to win a free portrait hit the subscribe button. I am off to grab a cup of coffee and will continue shortly.
I have been working more on the dogs to bring out the coloration of the fur. I am going to tackle the forest tomorrow and will be posting updates then.
I had to think how to tackle this leaf strewn forest floor and decided to bring in some fall colors of orange, greens, deep browns, pinks, mauves, specks of beige and even yellow with dabs that vary in size and directions. The color dabs are larger in the foreground and the whole forest flooe gets less colorful and more smooth as it receded into the background. The warm orange tones will complement the deep blues in the dogs fur and show off the ground better. In the reference photo in the right lower corner you see everything rather dull looking. These are dogs that love the forest, they are excited to be there and therefore their forest should convey exciting elements in the form of color as well.
As a painting progresses small changes occur here and there that are less noticeable as when the painting started out. I have put in all the trees and now will let the painting sit to dry. One the paint is dry enough to the touch glazes will follow to punch up the color and bring out specific elements in the foreground to make everything come alive. I have another pet portrait still on the easel to finish and have started on a baby portrait as well.