View Full Version : Portrait of a dog.

09-19-2004, 01:37 AM
:wave: Hello everyone! It's been a very long time since my last pastel painting. This one is of a dear friend's dog who died tragically last month. It's soft pastels (mostly unison) on velour. I've nearly finished him (have to finish his ears and chain).
All comments and critiques very welcome as this is my first dog portrait and I want it to be very special for my friend.
Thank you for looking

Mikki Petersen
09-19-2004, 08:36 AM
The painting is well done so far. I like all the earth tones...they seem to fit this subject. One thing that jumps to my mind is that he has not feet. I think this is because the forelegs end in somewhat of a point that draws attention. I think if you faded the legs out more it would improve the painting. That or give the poor guy some feet so there is a stopping place for the eye. Great work for having been absent from painting for a while.

09-19-2004, 08:51 AM
This is definitely not just any dog, but an individual personality! Very nicely done, so far...if you have no reference for his feet, maybe bury 'em in a bit of convincing grass?

K Taylor-Green
09-19-2004, 08:53 AM
How sad for your friend. The do manage to take a piece of your heart with them, don't they?
This is very well rendered. Your friend will be pleased.

09-19-2004, 11:24 AM
Oh.... This portrait makes me want to cry! His expression is so beautiful. Can you post a closeup of the face? His eyes look wonderful.

09-19-2004, 11:29 AM
My favorite part is the crooked up ear and you know that's got to be something unique to this particular friend.

I agree - grass may be just the ticket for solving the feet.

Congratulations on getting back in the dust and doing it so well!


Paula Ford
09-19-2004, 01:26 PM
Very nice indeed!! Your friend will love this painting!!


Deborah Secor
09-19-2004, 04:52 PM
Tracy, for a first dog you must be very happy with this one! I think you have a nice touch and I love the palette, too.

I hate to be the one dissenter here, but I advise against grass as a solution. Even if you used dead, dry grasses to retain the earthy palette, you still need to have those feet in there under the grass.

The way I see it, this is a problem of contrast. The reason I keep looking down towards the (missing) feet is because the higher contrast is down there. His face is darker and because of the background color, which is so simlar to his coat, and the value, which is almost identical, I'm looking downwards.

Just to show you what I mean, I cropped the picture a little and darkened his body lower down--VERY roughly! It requires you to get out your articstic license, but I think you have a wonderful painting and this puts the focus where your friend will want it to be--on the face of a beloved dog! You might slightly lighten some areas in the face, too, or add a little bit of light on one side, if you think that will work.

Feel free to ignore me! The painting is well executed as it is and I know your friend will love it. But maybe think about this for your second one. :)