View Full Version : help on basset hound

06-25-2007, 09:44 PM
Hi I am one of those lurkers that is always on this site but hiding in the background. love this site with my morning coffee,I am learning so much. I am reaching out for some help and hoping you guys can guide me, I have this basset photo that was taken with flash and on computer paper. I do not have art back ground other than high school a quite a few years ago. I have only done a few pastels other than this one . I do not know how to ground this guy,I can see I need to do something but I do not know what.l I was trying to put a dark shadow to the side and underneath him, but as you can see that looks terrible. I have a ways to go on the dog yet. It is 16x20 pastels on velour with assorted pastels. anyone with advise please throw it my way, I am stuck and have sat this way for two days not knowing how to go any further. Oh and I am terrible at taking pictures and fixing them Paula364085boy oh boy I guess I also need to practice on posting.


06-25-2007, 09:57 PM
Hi Paula

I think you're doing a great job so far on this one.

The things that jumped out to me where:
To reduce the size and evenness of the two little white stripes on the back and the side of the dog.

To warm up the tans and golds of the markings

To bring some warm colours into the background and fade it off as you go backwards away from the dog. You're on the right track with wanting to ground him - making the background fade off I think will help make your eye happier.

To "de-white" some of the dog's white. I can see you are already doing that, and I'm not sure how much the camera has washed out what you've done. But comparing the photo with the painting, I can see that the feet need more darks, as does the underside of the chest - just as you've done with the folds of skin above the scarf.

You've done a great job on the shape of the muzzle and it's white flash, just check that the nose is on the same angle as the rest of the face - could be you need to lift the left (our left) side of it a tiny bit.

Don't forget to add a little pink to his belly - it's part of his charm, and to bring a little bit of the tan into the lower part of the black on his back.

Finally the eyes - you have captured them beautifully. I think it wouldn't hurt to make the highlights in them smaller again, and make them blue-ish rather than white-ish - again could be the photo.

All very minor tweaks that I'm seeing here - you are doing great gal! I'm looking forward to seeing the next instalment.

06-25-2007, 09:59 PM
Firstly Paula, you have a skill that is crying out to be tapped into. You are already good at this game so going on shouldn't be too much of a problem for you. I love the viewer's angle you have created.

As to grounding your dog, you might get different advice as there are many ways to do this. I would say that at the moment, your whole background is basically one value. Try to go darker at the front to paler at the back, or even the other way around, but give yourself some different values. You can use cooler colours going further back, like pale greens or blues, and this will give the feeling of the floor receding into the background. You would then be able to create some shadow under your dog that would mean something to the eye.

Keep it going - it's great

**edit** Ann posted at the same time as me and she's a great teacher

06-25-2007, 10:01 PM
Snap! Good morning Patrick! :-)

06-25-2007, 10:04 PM
PS that's Patrick's polite way of saying I'm a bossy stickybeak LOL

06-25-2007, 10:18 PM
PS that's Patrick's polite way of saying I'm a bossy stickybeak LOL
LoL :lol: Ignore her paula, but don't ignore her teaching :thumbsup:

06-26-2007, 08:15 AM
Thank-You very much Ann and Patrick I will be putting your advise to use. I appreciate your words of wisdom as this medium is still new to me with no real art knowledge, you both have given me the push to move forward from a complete standstill in not knowing what I should do next. I also will try to figure out how to post a better picture, the one I posted is terrible, detail lost and blurred.again thank-you so much and hope to have an update tonight. Paula

06-26-2007, 10:57 AM
LOl you two are so funny! I agree with what has already been said by them too LOL!
You did a beautiful job!

06-26-2007, 05:50 PM
Wow Paula, this is a wonderful dog portrait...just need some background work and it's top notch...see what I did in PS hope you don't mind...you could use what Patrick said, that would work, or do just a bit more and use that step horizontal to ground the comp...see my crude work in Photoshop to see what I mean...some value change and you have to decide where the light is coming from to get where you want the shadow to go.
Great job

06-27-2007, 12:30 AM
Here is what I think is the final. I still have to work on taking pictures and resizing. but thank-you so much for your help Ann,Patrick,Jody and Colleen. Colleen I have photoshop but have yet to learn to use it right, It really helped seeing what you mean. Now I am going to go stick this in his frame and go to sleep. again thanks so much I admire all of your work all the time, I was so honored that you incredible artists came to my rescue.364211Paula

06-27-2007, 06:40 AM
A definite improvement Paula. You should sleep well tonight, thanks to a job well done :-)

06-27-2007, 09:21 AM
Thanks Ann I tried to take the advice you awesome people gave and put to use. I really need to find out about cameras and what all you artist use. I would like a decent one for reference pics and for art work. taking the picture and resizing made the picture look completely different than in real life. not quite sure what I did wrong to distort this one.This is the first one that I am satisfied with, other than a few changes I wish I could make but it was gone when I woke up hubby took it to work to deliver it to the client today.thanks so so much for your help, I really hope to get to get as good as you artists on this site so I guess that means off to the next project. Paula

06-27-2007, 10:13 AM
Hi, Paula. One word of advice that a great artist friend told me, and that I'll pass along to you is: squint. Seriously! :D Stop painting for a moment and peer at your painting through slits. It'll help you determine when the dark and light bits (values) need to be adjusted. Try doing it on my little painting below. Do you see how the shadows under and behind the dog and kitty appear more defined, and how the white length of the dog stands out? Neat trick, eh?

And yes, I agree, you've a wonderful talent. Keep painting. Practice makes perfect, and all that jazz!

06-27-2007, 02:02 PM
Thank-You Helene, I will definitely try to do that from now on. I have heard of doing that from this site but need to learn to practice squinting all of the time so it becomes habit.All of you artist are just great with helping all of us newbies and that is what makes this site so great. Paula