View Full Version : Boston terrier/spitz WIP Please help!

09-08-2004, 08:20 PM
A friend of the friend I did the boston terrier painting for saw it and asked if I would paint her dog. I'm giving it a try. I know the ear on the left isn't right; somehow the dog just doesn't look right. I've worked on this so much that I no longer have any objectivity left. Could someone please help me?? The dog is a mix of boston terrier and spitz.

Art spectrum and various softees. No background yet, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with that either. Tried to make the pic and painting the same size below cuz I thought it'd help me see what's off.

Thanks so much,

K Taylor-Green
09-08-2004, 09:04 PM
Gwen, To me, it looks almost dead on. Maybe off a hair here, and a tad there. I think the cooler colors you have used are giving you the "off" look.
I think she will like it.

09-08-2004, 09:24 PM
First let me say that I did a double-take trying to see which was the photo and which the portrait! Very nicely done!

That said, I think part of the problem you are seeing is that it seems to me that the head is in perfect proprtion to itself, but is a little smaller overall than the head in the photo, so the ears look a little larger and the body seems a tad large as well. Do you have photoshop or similar? If so, you can put both pictures in there, size alike and layer the photo over the painting and make the photo partly transparent (about 60% transparency works well). That will show you differences quite nicely. Another trick is to change both to black and white, then reverse them (so your brain doesn't resolve differences as quickly) and see what differences you see.

Even if you don't change a thing, it is a beautiful rendering. If it still bothers you, just mount it on the wall and let it "steep" for a couple of days. It really works!

- Molly

09-08-2004, 09:55 PM
This is so sweet. I think you have the likeness of the doggie mastered. I can't wait to see how this progresses!

09-08-2004, 10:14 PM
Hi again,

One more thing. Take a look at the area under the dog's right (our left) eye. It is significantly different in the painting making the area look like a depression. The shading under the eye on the photo doesn't imply the slightly sunken looks it has in the painting. Should be a quick fix. Maybe it's just me. . .

Again, a really super job!

- Molly

09-09-2004, 12:52 AM
I think you're soooooooo close...it could be nothing more than the fact that the dome of the skull is shaped just a tad differently in your painting...the curve in front of (our) left ear looks narrower, smaller somehow...not quite as pronounced on the right. Also, with the lighter background, those ears are popping like crazy whereas in the photo, they have "lost" edges for the most part and this makes them seem a bit less pronounced. Otherwise, you're dead on.

Really cute portrait...and those slightly buggy eyes are NOT easy to do!

09-09-2004, 02:42 AM
Others with more experience painting dogs may have some suggestions, but I'ld call it done! I am not even sure I would add pigment to the background except that I have been told that the paper dye will fade over time. You really did a good job on this one,,,,,you should be proud!!!! :clap:

Natalie NZ
09-09-2004, 06:45 AM
:clap: What a lovely little dog. I think you have done an excellent job :clap:

09-09-2004, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the comments everyone!

Kate, warming up the colors is a great idea. I already put a little orange on the fur.

Molly, thanks for the suggestions; they are super ideas. I don't have photo shop. Jackie was sweet to suggest a few alternatives since I'm rather computer challenged, but I'm still saving my pennys to buy it. And thanks for pointing out the eye. I totally missed that.

Sooz, thanks for indicating the ear and dome. I really appreciate it.

Preston, thanks so much. I like it without background too. But I'm too messy and got pastel on it. And thanks for letting me know that it could fade. That wouldn't be very cool.

Natalie, Thanks so much for you support.

Here I go getting sappy again. But I have to say that you all are the greatest and I am learning so much here!!!!!!!!!!


09-09-2004, 01:01 PM
Hi Binkie, this is great....... got the likeness of the dog spot on, but what I noticed where the size of the ears to the size of head and width..... think this is where your problem lies

09-09-2004, 05:10 PM
Hi Binkie,

I played around with your drawing and discovered the problem. The angle of the left ear is too upright. The attachment shows the adjustments I made to the ear as well as the left side of his face. I also cropped the body on the right. The way you had it before made him look as if he was falling into the picture frame.

Hope this helps


09-09-2004, 05:12 PM
Binkie, This is looking really good. Everyone had good suggestions to tweak. If you trace the photo onto tracing paper (see-thru) the same size as the head of your painting, then you can compare where you might be off. I do think the ears stick out much more but that won't bother the owner if that's the way the dog is. A darker background similar to the ears will keep them from standing out as much. I think it's about as tweaked as it needs to be.
I haven't got back to working on mine yet. Today I got in a spring cleaning mood. lol

09-09-2004, 05:25 PM
I lightened the photo alot & the edges of the dog's ears are still mostly lost. I think the light inside part of the ear is smaller than you have it. The dark edge gradually lightens to the pink. Is the ear on our left smaller in the photo - shorter?

09-09-2004, 06:07 PM
what I have done here, is to take your photos and split into two..... laid on a transparent layer in PSP onto the original photo, then traced over it, the overlaid in a tranparent mode onto your painting..... the right side as you see pretty near enough matches up ..... left side needs to be widened... and more head at the back.... little adjustments here and there ..... hope this helps rather than to confuse you lol

ps.... I would check those pupils/Iris's and highlights... little bit too much white showing under the coloured part of left eye as we view ... all making the doggie look as if eyes are looking in diff directions


09-10-2004, 02:05 PM
Wow Heather, Tammy and Dawn, I can't thank you enough for all the help! You went over and above to show me how to get the likeness accurate.

I never thought of trying what you've all suggested, but they are fantastic ideas!!! I never received this much help in art class. I am letting the pastel sit for a few days and then will your suggestions to work.

I just can't thank you all enough!!!!!


09-10-2004, 02:07 PM
Your welcome...I was hoping you weren't discouraged by all the things we found to do. :D

09-10-2004, 02:21 PM
Hi Tammy,

I wasn't discouraged at all! I really do appreciate all the suggestions! I really want to improve and learn, and you all are just wonderful about helping me.


09-10-2004, 02:27 PM
Awwwww Binkie.... you are such a sweetie...... and what a lovely Thank You