View Full Version : "First Duck" WIP

02-18-2012, 02:27 PM
Hi All,
I'm starting my second painting, in Pastel, of the breed-Spinone Italiano. They are a hunting dog, used as retrievers.
In this painting, I was granted permission for ref. photo use by it's photographer, Alison Nick. Her dog "Sofia" is depicted in this shot, retrieving her first duck, hence my title. But, it is also MY first attempt at a duck(altho this one has gone over the bridge http://www.asingularcreation.com/Forums/images/smilies/icon_sad.gif ).

PLEASE do not copy photo as it IS copyrighted. http://www.asingularcreation.com/Forums/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif

I am painting this one, 11 x 14 sized grey Ampersand, soft Pastels, as per my usual.

I will be blurring the BG somewhat, keeping the main focus on the dog. This one is already a challenge for me, as I am dedicated to making this more than just a portrait, but rather to incorporate the hunting dog into a convincing background, while as mentioned focusing on the dog. lol. And, additionally, both the dog and the duck, are wet! So wet fur, AND wet feathers add to my challenge.

I have cropped from the pic a bit, leaving out some of the photo's BG, for the painting. But, now I wonder if the comp. was better served leaving it all in?

As you can see, I've started the rough sketch(I don't do my sketches very detailed). I've darkened the image of the sketch somewhat to allow for you to view more easily.
I have sketched using a Pastel, cool gray pencil. Ignore slight shadow in the area of dog's rump...it's a defect on my camera's lens...sigh, now i'll need to purchase a new camera.
Well enough talk, must get to work!
Hope you all will chime in as I move along, as I need your eyes to keep me on track!

Kathrin G.
02-18-2012, 03:40 PM
You are off to a great start :clap: I shall be back to watch this come together :wave:

02-18-2012, 04:23 PM
Thanks for coming along on this journey Kathrin G!
I've begun the BG. i laid down blocks of darker greens, blended in dark purples, and have highlighted the grasses/reeds that will be more in focus as they come closer in view to the Spinone.
I'm adding a bit of the water in behind her, as my crop lost some of it, and felt it was necessary for the atmoshere(wet!:) )

My light source will be from the viewer's right, to include a bit of her head with backlighting.

I will finish up on most of the BG, before I progress to the dog.
BG's are my weaker point, so I'm nervous about getting it to look decent.
Photos all taken indoors, as the weather is ALSO wet:lol: .
Will try to get better photos as I progress, and weather cooperates.
Thanks for viewing and any CC's always welcomed!


Orchid Lady
02-19-2012, 10:59 AM
Looks good so far, Barb! Backgrounds are a problem for me, too, so I'll be watching how you proceed with it.

02-20-2012, 04:41 AM
You're off to a good start!

John B
02-20-2012, 06:24 AM
Great start, love the background.


02-20-2012, 12:24 PM
Thanks for following me on this orchid lady, Kanielle, and John B.!

I'm sorry, but I haven't had a minute to do any painting. But I will have an update later today, as I can finally sit back down and work on this.
I'm going to be adding more water in behind the dog's back(above back line). I think it needs a bit more than what I was planning originally. We'll see how that turns out...will be back this evening with an update.

I've got to go get an new camera today as well, as the problem with my lens defect is driving me crazy. Not sure how that happened, but as I've mentioned, I've tried cleaning the lens. It would seem there is something(a dot of something) under the outer cover of the lens, so I can't get to it to remove it.:(

Kathrin G.
02-20-2012, 01:29 PM
I like what you have so far :thumbsup:

02-21-2012, 01:06 PM
Thanks Kathrin!
Still working on the BG, not looking like much prrogress, but I've been fiddling with it!
I've decided to have the dog standing in the water, so now i've added yet another challenge(for me anyway):evil: , as I've not done a painting depicting water with pastel, so keeping :crossfingers: that this will work.:)


02-21-2012, 01:19 PM
Just wanted to ad, that after posting, it helps me to see where i need to go next. I see I need to lighten some of the darker areas of green coming into the lighter areas. This BG is turning into a marathon:lol:I'll be glad when i can start on the dog!

02-21-2012, 09:09 PM
Great start...looking forward to seeing the dog develop...:)

02-22-2012, 12:31 AM
Thank you evartpat!

Finally starting the doggie:) Still have alot to do on the BG, but had to move away from it for a bit.
I'm nervous about starting the duck, but figure I will tackle that tomorrow:smug: (or should i say attempt to tackle that duck:lol: ).

Sorry about quality of photo, taken under studio light.


02-22-2012, 03:49 PM
This is coming along really well Barb, I am loving the background and there is some really nice lighting in this - keep going:thumbsup:

02-22-2012, 06:14 PM
I'm really enjoying watching your progress with this! It looks wonderful! Looking at this background, I can't believe you have problems with them. It's wonderful!
Already have nice fur developing on the dog!
Beautiful job! I'll be keeping an eye on this one :)

02-22-2012, 07:24 PM
This looks awesome! I love the grasses in the background. Excited to see how this progresses!

02-23-2012, 01:23 AM
This is wonderful to watch. Can't wait for updates. Love it!

02-24-2012, 12:17 PM
Thanks so much for your encouragement Lexycat!
Peggy- thanks for following along on this marathon painting:lol: . I have done a few sort of blurred BG's with pastel, but this is alot more detailed as it is closer in view...we'll see what happens!:crossfingers:
Paige- thanks for your very nice comments! Much appreciated!
Winky'sMom- thank you for viewing and following along!

Albeit slowly, I have made a bit of progress. I just haven't been able to focus as I've had alot of life's issues get in my way...BUT..I'm dedicating all of today and most of tomorrow(barring anymore interuptions), so hopefully I can finally get cracking on this one and get it done!

I've worked the head a bit more, nose still needs work, started the body and am laying in color on the duck. I've also emailed the photographer as I just wasn't sure WHAT that was in the photo by the duck's tail. So, since i hadn't had a response as of yet, i decided to remove it. It almost looks like a tag or a piece of tape or something:confused: :confused: . Lighting is a bit off, but wanted to show my progress(albeit slow). I'm still not sure how I'm going to make the fur look "wet", or the duck's feathers for that matter, but will play around with it until it reflect's dampness, now back to work I must go!

Thanks to all that are following and offering much appreciated encouragement!:)


02-24-2012, 04:21 PM
And a bit more- taking a break now, so will update again tomorrow.:wave:


02-25-2012, 06:12 PM
Well, I have come to the point of finally finishing this. I may still tweak a few things, but overall it is done.
This one was difficult for me not just due to the BG. I'd never painted a duck before, and never painted any animal in this duck's state(deceased), so it was difficult.
As per the painting, I am still unhappy with the fur as I don't think it really reflects 'wet". I'm going to leave this sit a day or two and look with fresh eyes.
If you all have any suggestions, please don't hesitate.


02-25-2012, 07:47 PM
Slightly better picture:)

Dave Hawk
02-25-2012, 08:01 PM
Barb I like how you limited the grass , that was a good choose. Nice job.

02-27-2012, 09:01 AM
Thanks Dave!
I was hoping for a bit more input on this one, as I really need to have this one read well.
As I've said, I'm not happy with the fur, and would love some suggestions for making it look more 'wet'.:)

Dave Hawk
02-27-2012, 09:55 AM
Barb here ya go. Add more dark's to the legs , underside, lower legs , got to remember the dog has been running through want not and the white fur is looking to clean . Also the tail looks like it is on the same plain as the nose so shading for depth is what I am getting at. I can see you started to add some dark's on the lower portion of the legs but don't be afraid to give definition to the fur with deeper shade tons.
In a closer look the front chest is darker then the back. I would darken him at lest 2 shades. on the back end.