View Full Version : "Barker" - WIP

03-31-2007, 12:26 AM
I'm working on a pet portrait for a friend who dog-sits for us from time to time. She has a very regal-looking young mixed breed named, appropriately "Barker". He's a wonderful dog and this is a surprise for her. I hope she likes it. It's been a few months since I've painted a dog and so this has been fun. Don't think I've quite got the proportions just right even though I measured, but oh well! Colors used - diaz purple, aliz crimson, u.m. blue, azo yellow, yellow ochre light, titanium white, payne's grey. I'm wondering if I need to try to smooth the transitions more between colors - face might be looking a little "patchworky"? What was frustrating is I painted it first & it wasn't centered enough - I'm not real keen on centering - but it was too far left & too small. Now it seems too low! That's why I added the lighter color to the top...any tips would be much appreciated.


03-31-2007, 01:15 AM
Since I am a fan of impressionist artwork, I love what you think is "patchiness". If you want photographic realism, then by all means, "fix" the transitions, but I think it looks fine.

03-31-2007, 01:46 AM
I too like the "patchiness", and I like the light colors you added to the top of the painting. They really do help to pull the eye up a bit, and make everything look great. Good job!

03-31-2007, 02:07 AM
Blend that streak of white on his throat and you're done girl!!!:) Looks great!

03-31-2007, 02:43 AM
he looks regal.. I like it as is

03-31-2007, 03:16 AM
Good one! Consider it finished:)

03-31-2007, 03:28 AM
I agree. I think it is finished. Love it. Jan

chammi kaiser
03-31-2007, 04:33 AM
I think it is absolutely delightful. Love the brushstrokes (you call patchiness). To me they give the portrait life . The expression is really good. I don't have a problem with the format. Think it works just fine but if it really bugs you, just crop some off the top. Great work and your friend will be thrilled with this gift, I'm sure.

03-31-2007, 05:02 AM
The 'patchiness' is what makes the painting, it's so well done, and IMHO I think you're very clever to think of lightening up the top, it doesn't need a thing done to it, it's nicely balanced now..

03-31-2007, 05:48 AM
It's fantastic - looks full of personality and energy - your friend will be over the moon!!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:

03-31-2007, 07:56 AM
oh i like this so much - he looks very intellegent !

03-31-2007, 09:07 AM
Wow - thanks so much everyone - patchiness is really my thing - vs. photorealism - I sometimes need to know that it's working and not distracting. And I'm glad lightening the top helped to balance it.

Barker is VERY intelligent & much more obedient than my Zoe. However, he does bark rather loudly :lol: I love him a lot and when I've watched him he has taught Zoe some good things - so, I can't wait to give them the gift.

03-31-2007, 10:06 AM
he looks so handsome..:clap:

03-31-2007, 11:24 AM
This is a terrific gift for your friend and no doubt she will treasure it. The dog looks like a sweetie!

03-31-2007, 06:25 PM
I took Tony's advice and smoothed out the white and gave a little more attention to his neck area. Gonna call it done now.


03-31-2007, 06:34 PM
Sweet! Job well done!

03-31-2007, 07:16 PM
This is GORGEOUS - I love it, but then I love dogs so any dog paintings are OK in my eyes. Am working on a dog pic at the moment - hope I can do something half as good as this xx

04-01-2007, 12:23 AM
Thanks Linda and Raz - I gave it to Barker's "dad" tonight - he was thrilled and said "it looks just like him!" His wife's out of town until tomorrow night so he's going to surprise her and have it framed and hung for her when she gets home.

04-01-2007, 01:39 AM
Thanks for taking my advice Celeste.:) He looks fantastic now!

04-01-2007, 01:59 AM
Celeste - didn't get a chance ealier to let you know how gorgeous the finish is on Barker - I bet there will be a lot of excitment in their house tommorrow night:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

04-01-2007, 09:10 PM
Thanks Tony & Ruth - waiting to hear from my friend's wife to see what she thinks!

04-01-2007, 10:47 PM
I love it. Thanks for sharing.

04-01-2007, 10:51 PM
It's beautiful. Good for you for stopping before it became overcooked. Please let us know the reaction!


04-02-2007, 05:53 PM
Thanks Sheila and Jamie. My friend was overjoyed when she got home and saw the painting waiting for her on a shelf. She's getting it framed right now! Can't wait to see what she's picked out.

04-02-2007, 09:30 PM
What I like about this work is the strength of character that comes across- I agree with Dreamz, regal - also I am not normally a great fan of 'animal' portraits but the directness and treatment you have given this piece- devoid of sentimentality, has taught me that the success of subject matter is all in the approach and application - thank you Celeste.
heather x

04-02-2007, 09:37 PM
I love it!!

04-02-2007, 09:41 PM
You're very welcome Heather. Barker is a very regal looking creature and I really wanted to capture that air. I'm happy that comes across to viewers who do not know him, I think that's the true test. I'm still working on finesse and how to evoke a wider range of emotions with my art - that's the fun of painting to me!

With much introspection lately about why I paint and how artists are unique individuals in their view of life, I've come to realize that art is really our native tongue and to stop painting would render us mute.

04-02-2007, 09:42 PM
Thanks Tracey - guess we xposted! Nice to hear from you.

04-07-2007, 04:30 AM
Beautiful work Celeste!!! :clap:

04-07-2007, 03:09 PM
Thanks - I saw it framed today and it looks even better now!

Margaret 59
04-07-2007, 08:43 PM
Lovely colours Celeste, and he has a beautiful face.