View Full Version : Miss Katie - My 3rd Oil WIP

07-30-2005, 03:17 PM
Hi Everyone :)

I decided to attempt a painting of my Mini Schnauzer Katie as my 3rd oil painting- she's means so much to me and I really adore her, I was hoping I'd be able to caputure her sweet nature....which the camera did not, she's not as dark as the photo shows either. I'm including the reference photo I am using. (I should have brushed her before I took the picture :rolleyes: )

My main concern at this point is that my grey is leaning to much toward the blue side. Also, should I let it dry a bit before I paint the white detailed hairs? Any suggestions are MOST welcome!:) Thank you! The critiques I received on my second oil helped me so much!



07-31-2005, 02:16 AM
You're Dog in the photograph has a lot of character... I'd like to see some of that in the oil painting! Your painting is good, but it lacks the character that your pet has. It lacks the personality. It has some emotion though so that's good. My suggestion is to go up into the fur with a darker colour to bring out individual hairs and add contrast. Go in kind of a curved motion. Go from the bottom up in a few places. Don't over do it though. In the face let some of the dark hairs leave there area and go up into the lighter areas in a few places. That's my suggestion. =)


07-31-2005, 09:22 AM
Thank you for your suggestions Adam! I zoomed in on her face in that photo & printed it out so that I could better see the individual hairs...

08-01-2005, 01:49 AM
Hello Teresa,

First off- a wonderful subject!

You are off to a fantastic start. In response to your questions on the blue in the fur I do not think you need to worry about that at this stage. Your colors are excellent for the foundation.

I am showing you three variations of your Katie subject.

The first is a blurred version. The first thing I usually do is block in major shapes. I am not painting a dog- I am paintings colored shapes.

If the subject is my own dog I often must turn the image upside down to see the shapes and not the dog.

This is what many artists do when they squint at the subject. They are removing the details and are only leaving the values and basic shapes.

Here is the image:

08-01-2005, 01:53 AM
My next suggestion is to be sure the basic anatomy is correct before moving forward.
A grid is very helpful to check this.
The grid can be expanded to add lines from the eyes to the corners of the mouth etc.

Nice job so far and I am looking forward to the next update :)

08-04-2005, 02:37 PM
Stella - your suggestions are great! :) I wasn't notified when you posted - wish I would have seen your post sooner :(

I've been working on her face detail, and still am - I found that I needed better, more appropriate brushes - so went shopping and didn't look at price tags! What a difference it made. I also discovered that when painting details it helps to clean the brush frequently - something I wasn't doing LOL it makes MUD when you don't! :eek:

Here's where I am at this point -

Thanks so much for taking a look!! :)

08-05-2005, 03:31 PM
HA HA HA! Yes- cleaning the brush helps-

Your are looking fantastic here :)

might I make some suggestions?

The left eye is a bit too high- the brow is elavated
but the eye should be dipped slighly as her head
is tilted.

The mouth corners on your model are level - to emphasize
the mouth line strait I would use a darker pigment.

IF you look at her photo she has a slight hint upward in the
corners of her mouth- to add this would enhance her charming look.

I love the softness of the ears and the nose shape- very nice!


08-08-2005, 03:00 PM
Thank you again Stella! I made some changes...I wonder if I moved the left eye far enough down, but I did move it, I added more detail also. If nothing else this is a great learning experience for me! :)



08-08-2005, 05:39 PM
I was going to ask....should I call it finished? Or are there a lot of areas that could be significantly imporved on? I could go on forever adding little details, the hard part is...the photo doesn't have that much detail, and it was a poor photo to begin with (I think) Katie wasn't looking her best LOL This painting was a HUGE learning experience for me!

Thanks for the input! :)

08-08-2005, 09:59 PM

She looks anatomically sound! NICE WORK!

I would call her done!!!

Now you can turn your attention to the background in order to
compliment your work :)

This is just one option of many-
My goal in a background is to enhance the subject, seat them in the surroundings and be sure the eye goes where intended.

The eye goes to the area of greatest contrast- which was the line of the floor. One rule of composition is not to have a harsh line leave a canvas because take the viewer's eye with it.

So I softened the line and blurred it.
I added a wall shadow just for fun to give her a more 3-d appearance.
Most importantly I added a shadow under her to ground her in the setting.

I also vignetted her by darkening the corners so that the brightest area was near her head- the choice of focus.

See what an incredible job you did on her??? I did not touch her at all!

I think for a first animal portrait you really rock!


08-09-2005, 02:08 PM
Oh WOW Stella, what a huge difference adding the shadow and softening the lines made!:clap:

I "ran" to the canvas after I saw that LOL I think I need to soften my brush strokes and even out the color a bit, but other than that I am real pleased with it & I want to thank you SO much for all your input, your comments and suggestions made all the difference! I truly appreciate your generosity in giving me pointers :) you rock!

Oh, I also added her "heart" id tag, which made it personal for me...I couldn't leave it out :wink2:


08-10-2005, 12:05 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Now what is next on your easel LOL!