View Full Version : Any preliminary tips.....

08-19-2005, 10:47 PM
on this as I contemplate painting this picture. This little gal, Muffin I believe her name is passed last year before Christmas. I wanted to gift this in watercolor painting form to Muffin's *mommy*. Any problems you see might arise? If it was something that you were working on, what would your approach me? And....well, whatever else that comes to mind as you view this.

Thank you for your input. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Aug-2005/[email protected]

08-20-2005, 01:52 AM
Hi Becky , If it were mine I would enlarge it , Taking out most of the Pond , Portrait like. The Flowers in front of the Pond, a Back drop . The Big Flowers on him are distracting to me. Don't forget to off -center Him. Just my opinion, you will get others .
Hope to see it soon .

08-20-2005, 02:01 AM
Pond? Ummmm...I don't see a pond. I think it is a rock boardered flower-bed. And then she is walking on a natural rock bed path. That's my interpretation of it.

I was afraid that was going to be the verdict here....that the picture looks too posed, and the flowers are distracting...and I thought so myself, though it is the BEST picture I have of her. I have a few....none of them really any too good. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2005/[email protected] http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2005/[email protected] http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2005/[email protected]

I have three others but they have people in them, minor children....but as I said....not much for good pictures.

08-20-2005, 07:06 AM

I think the picture you have has great potential. I would definitely come in closer and eliminate some of the big rocks in the front. She could still be standing in a rock path without those big shapes in front of her. I like the smaller flowers in the background, just lose the big tulip and its leaves. Crop the left side a little so she is entering the painting, not centered as June said. Oh, and lose the leash. LOL! ;)

Of the other photos, I think the one of her sitting on the step with her front paw hanging down is also charming, but maybe change the background to a chair or sofa????

Looking forward to seeing this painting. I'm sure her owner will love having it.


08-20-2005, 10:21 AM
Thanks Sylvia for those tips. I was thinking this was SOOO sentimental to the owner specifically because of how she captured it with the tulips and all. Hmmmmm....well, I just don't know what to do then. I did cut off the picture just beyond her tail, and that looks good. I know what you are saying about the tulips and all. But you know, when I present a painting to my family....or did years ago they would say....love the barn you did, but why did you put that tree in front to the left there. LOL You know! ;)

Well, I'll have to decide here.....I hate to do it and have them say....why did you....... Decisions, decisions.....compositionally correct watercolor or sentimentality....which wins out......hmmmmm. I'm not sure yet. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2005/[email protected]

How about this? http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2005/4536-Muff.jpg

08-20-2005, 11:44 AM
Becky... please remember that the photograph is
only a reference ... you can put in or take
out any parts that don't work... I like the original
pose ... but (to me) it would look much nicer in
a portrait with an uncomplicated background...

Jo in Georgia

08-21-2005, 07:06 AM
Hi Becky, having painted a few dogs, in pastel mind you, my experience tells me this one is the most natural pose. And the one that will get everyone saying, aahhhhhh!!!


The problem with all your photos is what make most dog portraits hard work, they are all taken from above. The only way to take a good photo of animals for painting porposes is to get down on your knees to the dogs level. I know you cant do that now, so I think the one with least problems is the one above.

08-21-2005, 08:50 PM
Ahhhh....I see. Well now this BONE HEAD is starting to understand. Hmmmmm....yeah, I think you are right. Well, that one actually to me looks like the simplest one, with all of the majority of the fur being more cream/white colored....so. I truly thank you all for your input....truly. :)

08-22-2005, 11:04 AM
Thinking about what everybody has said....and you know I was thinking that in the long run, you (everyone who is so helpful here) actually make us (everyone who has had the privilege of having the help of so many multi-talented artists) better artists.....for some of us (me) you are actually instrumental in the creating process of one becoming an artist. I think back to when I first came on board, and now I have to laugh and am so glad that I was not TOO proud to even post....and was lucky to NOT have been laughed off the board....though you probably did it behind the scenes. LOL

Thank you so much.

Well, I'll post a practice run here, and see how this works. You know I'm finding this bristol board, is a grabber of paint. It doesn't take much but it does NOT want to move that paint around the board...though it doesn't seem to absorb that much of it. Or maybe that is more the more opague colors, I'm not certain.

Anyway here is what I've done, and I'm just wondering if this looks like Muffin at all....or enough for someone who would know her to say...ahhhhhhhhhhh.....that's Muffin.

Definetly needs more defining shadowing under the beard and the back right leg. She looks just a touch more tan on the painting than I'm getting here. Suggestions? How far in background details should I go? Thanks!

08-22-2005, 01:41 PM
Becky, I think the teeth are a little too large, they catch your eye right away. Maybe they need washing back with a little yellow/grey. I know they are large in the ref, and gleaming white too, but thats the camera doing that, I bet they weren't as white in real life.

As for the b/g I'd just go washy colours, make them dark around the dogs head to make it stand out, but just drop some colours in and let them merge.

08-22-2005, 04:33 PM
Ditto to what Kev said. He's spot on the money re the teeth and the background. The dog is what is important here so make her the STAR! ;)

Her fur is looking good, but I see in the reference photo that her right rear leg is hidden in shadow. You don't have to make it that dark, but some shadow would differentiate between the two hind legs a little more.


08-22-2005, 04:44 PM
Thanks for your input Kev & Sylvia. Since I started with an outdoor theme...and you said dark around the head...and I don't think this is dark enough....but I tried.

Is this an improvement at all? http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Aug-2005/4536-P8210073.JPG

08-22-2005, 05:39 PM
Like the b/g. I still think the teeth are too big. They just grab the eye.

I've just looked at the ref pic and think the nose is not the correct shape. Yours goes in, but the ref stays thick.

08-22-2005, 07:08 PM
OK...yes I see that...I actually saw it before, but I thought it looked a bit odd, and I took artistic license....LOL Which I
guess is the wrong area to do that.

I think I will put this on a different watercolor paper. I don't like the way that the bristol board just grabs the paint when you lay it in....and then doesn't allow for any moving around, and also makes the paints look dull. I imagine it is something like hot press paper would be, rather smooth most of it. Got it sent to me as a sample, about 20 sheets actually, 8.5 X 11. And he is definetly more a cream/tan rather than this orange tan I have here. Think I may use some crayon resist to bring out some more white here and there...especially around the face...maybe some masking fluid to on the back there.

Ohhhh, and I had one too many teeth there, I just discovered. LOL But, this is a delight to do....and now I'll do it again. Thanks for all of your help. I'll post as I go along. :)